Two-and-a-half months after it took the covers off its Nissan Magnite concept, Nissan India will reveal the production-ready model of the compact SUV on October 21. Market launch though is sometime away, and understood to be in early 2021.
According to Nissan, the word Magnite is a portmanteau of the words ‘magnetic’ and ‘ignite’. While magnetic highlights the design and the product attributes that will attract customers, ignite emphasises on the beginning of a new era that Nissan wants to bring in India. The Japanese carmaker claims that the Magnite will be technology-laden model, which is essential if it to make inroads in the ultra-competitive and booming compact SUV market. Renault-Nissan’s manufacturing facility in Tamil Nadu will be the mother plant for the Magnite.
Nissan has released pictures of the being tested at its Tochigi Proving Ground in Japan, where other models such as the Nissan GT-R and Nissan Ariya, have been tested.
“The Nissan Magnite has been specially designed in Japan, keeping in mind the requirements of our Indian customers. It is a bold offering in the sub-four-metre category. We are confident that the Nissan Magnite will redefine the B-SUV segment by breaking boundaries. We are very excited to bring this game-changing product to India,” said Rakesh Srivastava, managing director, Nissan Motor India.
In early August, Nissan had released images of the Magnite’s interior, offering cues of the design theme the the production model will follow. The feature-laden Nissan Magnite will have an 8.0-inch touchscreen, connected technology, 360-degree camera and cruise control. Auto climate control and steering-mounted controls are also expected on the production model.
According to Autocar India, the Nissan Magnite is expected to get all of four engine-and-gearbox options. The range will include a 72hp, 1.0-litre naturally aspirated, three-cylinder petrol engine available with manual and AMT auto gearbox options, and also a near-95hp, 1.0-litre three-cylinder turbo-petrol unit with manual and CVT automatic options.
Aggressive pricing likely
If Nissan is to make a dent in the price-conscious Indian market, and the very competitive compact SUV market, it will necessarily have to adopt an aggressive pricing strategy. It is likely the top-spec variant will be priced on par with the Maruti Vitara Brezza. While also doing battle with the existing crop of the compact SUVs including the recently launched Kia Sonet, the Magnite will also spar with its cousin the Renault Kiger slated to arrive next year.
A lot rides on the Magnite
Nissan has a tough act cut out in the Indian market. In FY2020, it sold all of 17,976 units that gave it a meagre market share of 0.65 percent in the total passenger vehicle market which saw sales of 27,73,575 units. Within the Utility Vehicle segment, it sold 5,225 UVs, which gave it a market share of 0.55 percent, in a total UV market of 946,010 units in the last fiscal year.
In the ongoing fiscal year, in the April-August 2020 period, Nissan India has sold a total of 659 UVs, which gives it a UV market share of .30 percent.
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