Nissan expects to significantly improve its performance in India this year, and is aiming to almost treble sales in 2013-14. The company sold 37,000 vehicles in 2012-13, and is targeting sales of 100,000 vehicles this year.

It exported 130,000 units in 2012-13. And, it hopes to maintain exports this fiscal.

Addressing a media round-table, Kenichiro Yomura, President, India operations, and MD & CEO, Nissan Motor India Pvt. Ltd., said, “We should have sold more vehicles in India”.

Nissan is targeting a 10 per cent market share in India by 2015-16. Towards this end, the company is significantly ramping up its dealer network from 95 in 2012-13 to 145 in 2013-14. It has revived the Datsun brand under which it will sell economy segment cars. Nissan will launch the first Datsun product and two new models and two refresh models this fiscal.

“We hope to meet with success with every model, and there are good opportunities in the sports utility vehicle (SUV) segment,” Mr. Yomura said. “Datsun is not a cheaper version of Nissan but is being built as a brand for this market,” he added. Mr. Yomura said the annual capacity of the unit was 400,000 units. “It can be raised to 480,000 units, and we will consider it in the future”. He said the company was trying to localise production. “Excluding engines, we have 90-95 per cent localisation. We are unlikely to localise engines soon but Datsun branded cars will have higher localisation”.

To a question, the Nissan India chief said, “the Indian market is very competitive, and being late entrants, we needed large production volumes from the start. Without shared facilities, we would have suffered huge amortisation charges, and it would have been difficult to be cost-competitive”.

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