Nissan is developing a cheap ($US3,000) car for India but chief executive Carlos Ghosn reportedly said the on-sale date had not yet been decided.

Speaking to journalists in Japan, Ghosn said the need for such a vehicle is apparent for the Indian market and because a rival has already announced that one was coming, the Associated Press (AP) reported.

Ghosn reportedly said Nissan Motor would work on the car with alliance partner Renault and a local Indian partner.

"You don't want to be surprised when the $3,000 car arrives in the market," he told the news agency. "We are gathering a lot of information."

Last February Nissan said it would build a new 400,000-unit car and SUV factory in Chennai with Renault and local automaker Mahindra. Production is expected to start in 2009.

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