Predicting that the Indian passenger car market size will touch the 4.5 million mark by then, Nissan Motor Co implied a sales target of 450,000 units. To provide for these numbers, it plans to launch 10 new products by 2016, four of which will be launched in 2013-14. In that fiscal year, Nissan plans to launch a CVT version of both the Micra hatchback and the Sunny saloon, followed by a ‘Compact SUV’ and the Datsun products. To achieve this target, the company also plans to increase its on-ground presence to 300 dealers from the current 95 in the country.
Given that the current manufacturing facility of Renault Nissan Automotive India Pvt Ltd (RNAIPL) at Oragadam, Chennai, has a capacity of 400,000 cars per annum, which is shared by both Nissan Motor Company and Renault India, it is fair to assume that the Japanese company will go in for either a capacity enhancement at its existing facility or a new plant altogether in order to meet its ambitious target by 2016.
Company officials, however, declined to comment on this aspect at the press conference held in Chennai. “It is too early to talk about that, but the numbers suggest that we have to make plans,” said Toshiyuki Shiga, chief operating officer, Nissan Motor Company. Shiga also inaugurated a new assembly line for manual transmission gearboxes at the Oragadam facility recently.
Nissan’s erstwhile economy brand, Datsun, will see its phoenix-moment in India this year. With plans confirmed for three products, Shiga said that the Indian engineers are working full time to bring these products to life. “Close to 1,900 engineers are working on the Datsun products at the Renault-Nissan Technology and Business Centre India (RNTBCI) in Chennai,” he said. The Datsun products will see simultaneous development in Russia, Indonesia and India, with a bulk of the engineering coming from the RNTBCI.
Photograph (L-R): Toru Hasegawa , corporate vice-president (Africa, Middle East and India), Toshiyuki Shiga, chief operating officer, Nissan Motor Co, and Takayuki Ishida, MD and CEO, Nissan Motor India.