Nissan scouts for partner to help build new Micra

Nissan India is searching for a partner to help build the latest version of its small car Micra for the developing markets. The company is reported to be in talks with Ashok Leyland, a part of the Hinduja group, to develop the car in India.

''We are studying the possibility of tying up with Ashok Leyland and some other manufacturers in China and Indonesia for a small car project,'' Carlos Ghosn, chief executive of Nissan & Renault, said at the recent Geneva Auto Show 2010, where the fourth-generation Micra was unveiled.

Based on Nissan's new V-platform, the car will be built at four global locations including India, Thailand and possibly China, Mexico or Brazil. In India, the Micra will be positioned between a low-cost car and a premium hatchback.

The car is expected to compete with the Maruti's Alto and Wagon R, the Chevy Beat, Ford Figo, Hyundai Santro and similar models in the Indian hatchback sub-compact car segment. The Micra is expected to be priced between Rs3.8 lakh and to Rs5 lakh.

To be manufactured at the company's upcoming plant at Chennai, the Micra will be available for Indian customers by July this year. The company has eyed tripling the sales of this unit in more than 160 countries including the leading markets like India, China, Mexico and Thailand.

Nissan already has a joint venture in India with Renault and Bajaj Auto to produce an ultra-cheap car, which Bajaj claims to be on track.