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May 9, 2008

INDIA: Private firm to expand Nissan network

Nissan Motor on Friday said it had appointed Hover Automotive India Private to develop a sales network in India, with the aim of establishing 55 dealers by 2012 to sell more than 100,000 vehicles that year.

Nissan Motor on Friday said it had appointed Hover Automotive India Private to develop a sales network in India, with the aim of establishing 55 dealers by 2012 to sell more than 100,000 vehicles that year.

According to Reuters, the automaker currently has just five sales outlets in India, where it sells X-Trail sport utility vehicles and Teana sedans imported from Japan. It sold just 533 vehicles in India last year.

Nissan reportedly has said it would launch eight additional models by 2012, including the Murano crossover vehicle due for launch in 2009. Four of the new models will be locally produced.

Earlier this year, Nissan and Renault announced a US$1bn car plant in southern India to start production in early 2010, Reuters noted.

Nissan also has an agreement to procure vehicles from Maruti Suzuki India and is studying a possible venture to develop and build $3,000 cars with Renault and Indian motorcycle maker Bajaj, the report added.

Reuters said Hover, established last month, is affiliated with the Westmont Group, a global consortium dealing in hotels, real estate and marketing, among other businesses.

Nissan told Reuters the Hover operations will be led by GM Singh, a Mumbai-based businessman with experience in car retail and rental franchises, and Kevin Whalen, an entrepreneur with experience in developing dealer networks in the United States.

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