Japanese car maker Nissan is setting up a diesel engine plant inside its manufacturing facility at Oragadam near here. Initially, it will produce 2 lakh engines. This could be scaled up to 4 lakh numbers. In an interaction with presspersons here on Thursday, Sunil Rekhi, Chief Financial Officer of Nissan Motor India, said Nissan would come out with the diesel version of its just-launched ‘Sunny' sedan at the Auto Expo 2012 in January in Delhi. Mr. Rekhi said Nissan was committed to India on a long-term basis and was keen to localise its products to the maximum level. As part of this exercise, the company was setting up a diesel engine plant with Renault India, he added. “It is a joint investment plant and flexible enough to produce both petrol and diesel versions,” he said. “We can produce 2 lakh engines initially. This can be scaled up to 4 lakh units going forward, matching our total production capacity in the car facility,” he added.

He said the investment into the engine plant would be “around a few hundred crore and formed part of the total investment of Rs.4,500 crore into Indian operations. We seek to drive all our diesel cars in India with ‘made-in-India' diesel engines,” he said. Nissan would initially start the Sunny diesel version with imported engine. However, Sunny would be localised immediately once India-made diesel engine went into production, he added.

Nissan, he said, hoped to more than double its sales this year in India. Though the market was going through difficult period owing to rising interest rate, inflation and fluctuation in rupee/dollar rate, Nissan hoped to sell around 30,000 units in the current financial year.

MoU with SBI

The company, on Thursday, signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with State Bank of India (SBI) to finance its customers as well as dealers. “This will help us penetrate deep into the markets as SBI has branches in nook and corner of India,” he said.

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