Sunday, January 24, 2010

Nissan to export India-made small car from August


Manu P. Toms

Mumbai, Jan. 20

Japanese automaker Nissan will begin exporting its small car, Micra, from its Chennai plant to Europe within two months of its launch in India. The production line of the car is being transferred from the UK as part of Nissan's business plan for the Indian market.

“Following the India launch in June, we will start exporting the Micra by August,” Mr Kiminobu Tokuyama, Managing Director and CEO, Nissan Motor India, told Business Line on the sidelines of the launch of its luxury sports car, 370Z.

“The Micra will have a dominant share in our targeted exports of 110,000 units for 2011,” he added. Given that Nissan sells close to one lakh units of Micra annually across Europe, it will account for over 90 per cent of its exports from India in the immediate future.

Mr Tokuyama said that Nissan had also wrapped up production trials of the car in the Chennai plant. The company is taking the cue from Hyundai and Suzuki, which have made India the export hub for their European offerings including the i10, i20 and A-Star.

Suzuki is contract-manufacturing the A-Star (under the brand name Pixo) for Nissan and meant for Europe. Nissan's joint venture with Ashok Leyland will, incidentally, focus on sub-four tonne light commercial vehicles. The company's newly launched 370z, with two variants – the six-speed Synchro Rev Match and seven-speed manual shift mode – priced at Rs 53.5 lakh and Rs 54.5 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi) is part of its plan to import four cars here by 2012 and showcase the Nissan brand.

Nissan plans to sell two to four units of the 370z every month.

It will also increase the number of dealerships from eight to 30 by the end of this year, going up to 55 by 2012.

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