Mr.Carlos Ghosn addressing the media today at the Trident Hotel in Chennai discussed the future of the brand in India. Here's what he had to say.
On his visit to India -
Ghosn spoke to Ashok Leyland's executives on some of the projects the companies have embarked on. He could also meet Hoover Automobiles, the distributor of Nissan's cars in India. Apart from these parties, Ghosn said he interacted with the staff of the Nissan-Renault's operations in India.
On the Mahindra Renault Logan -
Ghosn said the Renault Logan will continue to sell in India. Customers will enjoy the service of the company. He wants the car to have a completely normal lifecycle. He however accepted that he's not satisfied with the evolution of the Logan in India and he's speaking to Mahindra to reposition the product.
On the ULC -
"The ULC is moving along" says Ghosn. His company is working out a contract with Bajaj. It will not be assembled in the Chennai plant. He hinted the product will cross the Indian border.
On the Ashok Leyland small car deal -
Ghosn said there is space between the Bajaj ULC and the Micra. He wants to plug this gap with another vehicle and that's where the Ashok Leyland small car will fit in. He approached Bajaj but they said they have their hands full. Ghosn did not play down the possibility of having more than one car between the ULC and Micra.
On Nissan's poor performance in India thus far -
Ghosn claims the Nissan products sold in India are fully imported and that did not make it accessible to a large number of people. He feels the numbers will improve once he introduces locally manufactured, locally sources automobiles, which the Bajaj ULC and Micra will do. He said cars that suits Japanese or European needs won't generate volumes. He added Indians want price competitive products.
On the prospect of Lada in India -
Renault recently purchased stake in AvtoVAZ and that prompted one of the journalists to ask Ghosn about the Lada brand coming to India. Ghosn answered the Lada cannot come to India because of price reasons. They are not considering the assembly of those products either in India.
On the Nissan Micra -
Ghosn says the Nissan Micra is superior in emissions, safety, space. What he means to say is that its a hatchback built to international standards.
On the partnerships with CV makers Ashok Leyland and bike manufacturers Bajaj to make cars -
Ghosn appreciate our question. He feels there's no point in tying up with companies which already know to make cars. He wants to partner with companies which follow the practice of frugal engineering and these two manufacturers fit the bill perfectly. Ghosn points out Bajaj was eager on moving up from just being a trike manufacturer. Bajaj also has the expertise and market knowledge which are crucial. They have the know-how and Nissan has the technology and this is the perfect blend according to him.