Nissan committed to sourcing Maruti A-star
Despite sliding auto sales, Nissan is committed to sourcing the Pixo (the rebadged Maruti A-star) from Maruti Suzuki, displayed at the Paris Motor Show in October 2008. Pixo exports for European markets will happen in 2009. However, the volumes and the date of commencement of exports have not yet been confirmed.
Suzuki Motor Corporation of Japan had announced in 2006 that it would be engaged in contract manufacturing of the A-star (also sold as the new Suzuki Alto) exclusively for Nissan for its European markets. The carmaker had said that it hoped to make 50,000 units of the small car exclusively for Nissan.
According to Mr Kimura, Nissan's plans to begin production at its new plant in Chennai are well on course and that by 2010 Renault Nissan Automobile India Pvt Ltd, a 50:50 joint venture between Renault and Nissan, will roll out its first model — the successor of the Micra — for export to Europe. Nissan has already partnered with Hover Automotive India for the distribution, marketing and sales of the vehicle. “Our target is to set up 55 dealers by 2012,” said Kimura. On being asked whether the company would alter its production targets in India given the economic downturn, Kimura mentioned that “Nissan does not change its production schedule. We have committed to the Tamil Nadu government that we would invest Rs 4,500 crore by 2015 in the Chennai plant and would reach production levels of 4,00,000 units for both Renault and Nissan cars.”
New Teana and X-Trail in 2009 As for Nissan’s current plans for the Indian domestic market, Kimura stated that Nissan would launch a new Teana and X-Trail in 2009 and by 2010 will launch a new passenger car on the A-platform. The cars are imported into India through Nissan Motor India Pvt Ltd, a 100 per cent subsidiary of Nissan Motor Ltd of Japan. Nissan entered the Indian automobile market with the launch of the X-Trail, an SUV sold through its dealer outlets in Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai and Hyderabad. It launched the luxury Teana saloon in 2007. “We are studying the market to introduce new models in India but seeing the conditions we are hesitant to introduce luxury cars now,” said Yoshie Motohiro, General Manager, GOM Region Department (India). Ms Motohiro mentioned that even if Nissan were to introduce such high-end cars in India, it would be right because the volumes are not big enough to justify its launch. “We are studying the right model introduction,” she added.
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The 7 Series Protection expected price can reach up to Rs 4 crore.