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May 7, 2008

INDIA: Nissan plans model offensive

Nissan is planning a major new product offensive for India which includes six new launches by 2012, including a hatchback car in the volume segment and commercial vehicles.

Nissan is planning a major new product offensive for India which includes six new launches by 2012, including a hatchback car in the volume segment and commercial vehicles.

The Times of India said that a small car will be produced at its upcoming Chennai factory, slated to start production by 2010.

While Nissan will source Maruti-Suzuki’s yet-to-belaunched compact ‘A-Star ’ for selling in the European market, it will also export the small car from India. The company, which is also exploring a lowcost car like Tata Nano in partnership with French parent Renault and two-wheeler manufacturer Bajaj, currently imports the SUV ‘X-Trail ’ and sedan ‘Teana’ in India.

“Today Nissan has two product offerings , by 2012 we will have have 8 products, ranging from entry level car and commercial vehicles to high-end SUVs and sedans,’’ Neeraj Garg, director at Nissan Motor India, told TOI.

Garg said: “The hatchback is being developed in Japan keeping in mind the conditions and requirements of the Indian market,’’ adding, it would be positioned between Rs 3 lakhs and Rs 4 lakhs.

“Getting the pricing right is a key issue. But we feel that if others (existing players like Maruti or Hyundai) can do it, why can’t we,’’ Garg said, adding that the exports would allow Nissan to be competitive in the global supply chain network .

Nissan and Renault are setting up a passenger vehicle plant in Oragadam, near Chennai and the 50:50 joint venture will invest Rs 4,500 crore for a 4-lakh capacity plant. Though they will launch cars under their individual brands, Nissan is expected to take the lead in the future.

The company will buy around 50,000 units of the AStar compact off Maruti-Suzuki and will sell them in the European market.

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