METRO PLUS

Nissan gears up for India offensive





Nissan is all set to move forward with its India plans which includes launching eight new models by 2012. The Nissan range will consist of imports and locally manufactured cars from the company’s Chennai plant, which has a capacity of 400,000 units a year.

Leading Nissan’s charge will be the all-new Nissan Micra for which India is the global production base. The Micra is expected to be launched by May 2010 and this Swift rival will come with both petrol and diesel engines.

An all-aluminium, three-cylinder, 1.2 petrol motor will make its debut in the Micra and this lightweight state-of-the-art motor is expected to give class-leading fuel efficiency.

Renault is likely to provide the diesel power with their 1.5-litre (K9) engine, which currently powers the Logan. A saloon based on the same platform that will compete head-on with the Dzire will soon follow the Micra.

This saloon is likely to come with a bigger petrol motor and also a more powerful version of the K9 diesel. According to sources, Nissan is also evaluating a large C-segment car, an MPV and a small SUV to be manufactured in its Chennai plant. A range of imports which include the Teana, Murano Crossover, X-Trail and possibly the 370Z sports car.

The entire sales and marketing of Nissan products has been outsourced to Hover Automotive India, which will in effect act as Nissan’s national sales company. Since its official launch in May 2008, Hover has been managing Nissan’s business in India that includes corporate planning, product planning and distribution.



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