Nissan to expand in India

Mumbai: Japanese car major Japan's Nissan Motor Co says it is expanding its presence in India and is targeting selling more than 100,000 vehicles per year in India on the back of an aggressive product launch strategy ranging from entry-level cars, sedans, hatchbacks, SUVs and family utility vehicles to light commercial vehicles.

Apart from the current X-Trail and Teana, Nissan will launch eight new models by 2012, four of which will be locally manufactured. Nissan next plans to introduce the popular crossover vehicle Murano  in 2009 in the country (See: Nissan plans to launch Murano SUV in India) , as well as an entry-level compact car powered with an engine between 1 liter and 1.2 liters and a light commercial vehicle.

Nissan is also planning to launch a new hatch back model by the year 2010. Production for the vehicle is expected to begin next year at its Chennai factory. According to Nissan officials, the new hatch back model will be placed in the Rs3 lakh-4lakh rice bracket and is currently being developed in Japan keeping in mind requirements and conditions of the Indian market.

"India is a strategic market for the future of Nissan,'' said Carlos Tavares, executive vice president, Nissan Motors. ''Not only is there tremendous potential, but Nissan is well positioned to play a key role by delivering attractive, affordable vehicles to Indian consumers.''

Along with Renault, Nissan, is setting up a greenfield  plant near Chennai in Tamil Nadu at an investment of  Rs450 crore ($1.1 billion), scheduled to go operational in early 2010.

Nissan has also entered into an agreement to buy vehicles from Maruti Suzuki India to source its A-star to export it to Europe and also plans to export its own small car from India in a joint venture with Renault and Bajaj Auto.