Nissan''s X-Trail sells over 100 units in two months

Bangalore: Japanese car maker Nissan's sports utility vehicle (SUV), X-Trail sold over 100 vehicles in August and September. The company says the numbers are in keeping with its expectations from the Indian market and it is now considering an entry into the luxury car segment next year.

Nissan X-Trail, priced at Rs21 lakh, is positioned at the upper end of the SUV price band. Most of the SUVs brought in through the CBU route are priced in the Rs13-lakh to Rs18-lakh range. Ford Endeavour, the largest selling SUV, is available in the Rs12.5 lakh to Rs14 lakh- range while the Hyundai Terracan, Maruti Grand Vitara and Mitsubishi Pajero are positioned at the higher end of the spectrum above Rs20 lakh. The most expensive of the lot is the Pajero at Rs 34 lakh.

About 60-65 units of Pajero were sold in August September.

The base variant of X-Trail, Comfort, comes for Rs21 lakh while the upper end variant, Elegance, is priced at Rs24 lakh. The X-Trail has been selling in decent numbers despite its high price because of its features. The vehicle is imported from Japan as a completely built unit (CBU) and has a 2.2-litre common rail diesel engine system with six-speed manual transmission delivering 136 horsepower.

A Nissan official said the car had been selling well despite a low key advertising campaign so far, which is due to be stepped up soon. However, he said since the import duty on CBU was as 104 per cent, it was not possible to bring down the price of X-Trail.

The southern market, the official said, had responded better than the others and the company expects to sell 500 vehicles in the next one year.

Nissan is now looking at the possibility of launching a luxury model as a CBU late next year, though it has not firmed up the model. There are, however, no plans to launch a model in the 'B' or 'C' segments in the near future. The company has initiated a study to understand the Indian market better.

X-trail sold 1,40,000 units globally last year and is one of the most popular SUVs in the global market.

The presence of SUVs in India is negligible, as the western preference for the SUV has not reached the Indian market.

General Motor India's Tavera, Mahindra &Mahindra's Scorpio and Toyota Qualis, all multi utility vehicles(MUV), have been performing quite well in the Indian market mostly on account of their relatively low prices. SUVs in India, especially the ones brought in through the CBU route have met an indifferent response.