Completely different platforms for India and Europe.
Nissan is working on the fifth generation of its popular city car, the Micra. However, the Micra for Europe is going to be significantly different from the Micra for developing markets like India.
Indian Autos Blog got the first indication of this when it spoke to Mr. Etienne Henry, Nissan's senior product planner, who said that the Micra's positioning would be modified for wider market coverage.
Then at the Auto Expo last year, Nissan's senior vice president and chief creative officer, design and brand management, Mr. Shiro Nakamura, said that the Micra for India would be different in terms of functionality and specification, in comparison to the European model.
However, it seems the specification or functionality is only the tip of the iceberg. Sources within the company have confirmed that the new Micra for India is being developed on a slightly modified version of the current V-Platform. For Europe however, the new Micra is being based on the modern CMF platform.
"Investments Nissan India has made on the V-Platform is significant", a person in the know tells IAB. "It doesn't justify to let go of the V-Platform based on our investments, and spend more on CMF. Instead we will modify the V-Platform", the person added.
Indeed, the Japanese car maker has invested on localizing the platform at its Oragadam plant, though domestic sales haven't really reached expected numbers. Last year, Nissan sold an average of 705 units per month of the Micra (Micra Active and Micra) which is lower-than-industry volumes for a premium hatch available with petrol and diesel options.
Nissan had announced in 2013 that the Micra for Europe will be made at Renault's Flins plant. Currently, the Chennai-based plant exports the small car to Europe.
Launched in July 2010, the Micra received its facelift in mid-2013. Sources have also informed IAB that the first prototypes of the new Micra have been built, and the launch is expected next year.