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Nissan launches X-Trail sports vehicle news
Our Corporate Bureau
19 August 2004

Mumbai: Nissan Motor Co has launched its sports utility vehicle (SUV) X-Trail, in India in two variants. The base variant, Comfort, comes for Rs20 lakh while the premium variant Elegance is priced at Rs22.5 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi).

According to Yasuaki Hashimoto, vice-president, general overseas market who looks after marketing and sales for Asia and Oceania at Nissan Motors, the launch of the X-Trail is to test the Indian market and the performance of the vehicle here would decide the Nissan's future strategy in India.

According to him, the company is studying various options for its strategy in India but at present it is waiting to see how the X-Trail performs and the company is incurring virtually no marketing or promotion costs as it simply wants to understand the Indian market.

He did not reveal the number of X-Trails the company wanted to sell in 2004.

The company will go through the import route for the X-Trail wherein the SUV would be brought in as completely built units from Nissan's plant in Japan and would attract a duty of 104 per cent.

The X-trail sold 140,000 units worldwide last year and is one of the most popular SUVs in the global markets.

The X-Trail comes with a 2.2-litre common rail diesel engine and six-speed manual transmission delivering 136 horse power. The vehicle would be sold through four dealers in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata, sources said.

X-Trail was launched in Japan in November 2000 and unveiled in India during the Auto Expo in Delhi in January 2004. The vehicle is currently sold in over 180 countries.

Nissan officials said the X-Trail had a high-performance four-wheel drive system, which provides great maneuverability as well as low fuel consumption. It has been developed around the product concept of a versatile and authentic SUV, designed to offer the optimum balance between off-road capacity and on-road comfort.

This is Nissan's second foray in the country after its former light truck venture with Hyderabad-based Allwyn in the '90s.

Analysts say, the performance of the UV market is India is likely to attract more companies in this segment. Domestic UV sales went up by 27.6 per cent to 144,981 units during 2003-04, the increased sales being mainly due to increased sales after the launch of the Toyota Qualis and Mahindra's Scorpio.

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Nissan launches X-Trail sports vehicle