The joint venture of auto giants--Renault and Nissan-- which had set up a manufacturing facility at Oragadam, a Chennai subrub, would commence commercial production by May 2010, a top company official said here today.

With the commissioning of the unit, Nissan's total world-wide production would go up to one million units per year, Nissan Motors Executive Vice President Colin Doge told a press conference here after reviewing the progress of the civil and mechanical work at the project site.

The production capacity of the Chennai plant will be 4r lakh cars per year, he said, adding that it would produce nine models, some of which might be exported to the neighbouring countries.

The company's China plant would also soon commence production, he said.

He said his company had committed to invest Rs 45 billion in the Chennai plant during the seven-year period, commencing February 2008, when it signed a MoU with the Tamil Nadu government to set up the plant.

Doge said 85 per cent components of the cars would be locally sourced, of which 50 per cent would be from Tamil Nadu.

The company, which now has 700 workers, would increase its workforce to 3,000 by 2012. Core staff has been sent for training in Nissan's UK and Japan plants, he said.