This afternoon, in a media round table held for select invitees in Chennai, Nissan India revealed the product sheet for FY 2013.
Mr. Toshiyuki Shiga, Chief Operating Officer, Nissan Motor Co. Ltd addressed the media gathering, along with Mr. Toru Hasegawa, Corporate Vice President – Africa, Middle East and India and Mr. Takayuki Ishida, Managing Director and CEO of Nissan Motor India. All three officials skimmed the surface when particularly quizzed on long term plans, stating that it was very premature to announce the intricate details on the launch of the Datsun or Infinti models in India.
Nissan confirmed that it will launch the following models for FY2013 –
- Nissan Micra CVT – Nissan makes the Micra for about 81 overseas markets at its plant in Chennai and the demand in most of these markets is for the automatic transmission. We expect to see the X-Tronic CVT unit from the Scala carried over to the Micra. Nissan did not specifically mention about the low-cost ‘Active’ variant that we’ve seen testing, in the product chart.
- Nissan Sunny CVT – The plant workers have to change the badges, wheels and bumpers of the Scala CVT, and they’d arrive at the Sunny CVT! Jokes apart, the Sunny CVT is an important inclusion, it may not be the volumes spinner, but nevertheless this is an addition they cannot neglect, especially in metros.
- Nissan compact SUV – Nissan officials refused to identify this model, but said there’s heavy customer demand for an SUV. Nissan India’s Managing Director Mr. Takayuki Ishida said there is a range of SUV models in the international lineup that can also be explored for the Indian market, and that no plans are frozen. Our sources however have a different version – they say the Renault Duster, with styling similar to the X-Trail, is ready to explore the booming SUV market in India by September.
- Datsun – The Datsun brand will start off with two products in the first year, but Nissan officials wouldn’t describe the design or style. We know through sources that a Micra-based compact car, and a smaller offering (in the A-Entry segment) are at the starting gate. Both these products are developed by Indian engineers at RNTBCI (Renault-Nissan Technical and Business development Center India) near the Renault-Nissan Alliance plant in Oragadam, Chennai.
Nissan plans to capture 8% market share globally by FY2016, and in FY2012, they had sold 5.08 million units accounting for 6.02% market share. Nissan has invested 4,500 crore rupees in India, makes 400,000 cars at the plant (including Renault and Dacia makes) and exports over 100,000 units of the annual produce to 81 countries.
Nissan’s ambitious plans for India revolves around the power goal of 10% market share by FY 2016. By then, they plan to have 300 dealers and launch 10 new products, including the cars mentioned above.