Unable to make its presence felt in the crowded sub-INR 10 lakh price segments, Nissan is planning an onslaught of premium models for India now. It is considering a number of SUVs positioned above the Kicks, including the Pathfinder.
Nissan is banking on its extensive SUV range to steer towards growth in India. Speaking to The Times of India recently, Thomas Kuehl, President, Nissan India Operations, said that SUVs will form the core of the company’s revival strategy in our market. Being more specific, the outspoken chief said, “We are also looking at Pathfinder SUV.”
The Nissan Pathfinder is a mid-size SUV mainly intended for the western markets. As opposed to the body-on-frame Nissan Terra mid-size SUV that is targeted at Asia, it’s a unibody soft-roader. It competes with the Honda Pilot, Ford Explorer and Toyota Highlander. Such sophisticated family SUVs from mainstream brands don’t exist in India.
The current, fourth-generation model debuted in July 2012 and will likely go out of production within 2 years. Maybe Nissan will wait until the fifth generation model is ready before taking the final call. In the meantime, the Terra looks more realistic from the volumes perspective. The company could import it in CKD kits from Thailand to price it competitively. This model would challenge the Ford Endeavour, Toyota Fortuner, Isuzu MU-X and the Mahindra Inferno (TBA).
According to TOI’s report, Nissan plans to launch the Patrol full-size SUV (Toyota Land Cruiser challenger) also in India. However, available strictly with a petrol engine, the niche model would find only a handful of buyers in our market.