Nissan to start small car production in May

The vehicle will be exported later this year, as part of the company's strategy to establish a global manufacturing hub for the group in India, according to the company's chief executive, Kiminobu Tokuyama in an interview to Dow Jones Newswires on Tuesday.

Nissan 370ZAt a media gathering in Chennai on the previous day, Tokuyama said that the company was well on track to open the new factory in March.

He added that production would start at the new facility at Oragadam in May and the first hatchback on the V platform would be sold from July. He said that the Oragadam facility would roll out five models to start with and import four other models from Japan.

The Rs4500-crore factory being built near Chennai would be equally owned by Nissan and its alliance partner Renault S A.

He added that a sedan based on the V platform would be introduced in 2011 and a third vehicle based on the same platform would be introduced in 2012.

''We have come to India to become a major player and Chennai will play an important role in our Indian operations as we gear up for the start of the production of our locally made Global Compact Car in May 2010,''' Tokuyama said.