Nissan plans to heat up Indian car market


"By the end of this month we will be adding three more, taking the total dealerships to 11. By 2012 we will have 55 dealers to cover 85 percent of the Indian car market. That is a conservative number as we may increase the numbers later," Kiminobu Tokuyama, managing director and CEO, said in an interview.

"It is not the number of dealers that is important. What is important is to have right number of dealers at right places so that each dealer is able to achieve operational success," he added.

On the products side in India, Nissan will be using a mixed strategy of importing completely built units (CBU) and locally made cars at its fast coming up Oragadam plant near here and the ones to be made by Bajaj Auto at Pune.
According to Tokuyama, next year the company will be launching its sports car C702 and one more model.
"In all there will be four CBUs and five locally rolled models, taking our total product portfolio to nine in the Indian market. That is the proof of our seriousness about the Indian market," he added.

Joining the CBUs - XTrail, Teana, C702 and an unnamed one - will be the much expected compact car to be rolled out of its Oragadam plant next May.
The first car from its Indian plant will be a hatchback built on V platform. Two more models on the same platform will be built, of which one will be a sedan and the other is expected to by a utility vehicle.
He said the company has no plans for the A segment as of now.
"Globally Nissan enjoys a market share of 5.5 percent and we should be able to achieve more than that here with our model line up and dealer network. We have strategic plan for India as it is important in Nissan's global strategy," he said.
 On the condition of anonymity, a rival company's dealer said: "Nissan is going to be a serious threat for other players with their proposed model line up. Six months back it was not clear what Nissan's plans would be. Now it is clear that it will straddle in low cost, compact, luxury cars and light commercial vehicles."

Apart from the models that will be rolled out of its 200,000 per annum Oragadam plant, Nissan will get its low cost car from Bajaj Auto in Pune and the light commercial vehicles out of its joint venture with Ashok Leyland Ltd.
Exporting fully built cars to over 100 countries out of India, Nissan will be sourcing components for its global needs.
"We will be sourcing $20 million worth of components in 2010 and increase it to $40 million by 2012," Tokuyama added.
Queried about the company's marketing strategy with many other players like Volkswagen, Ford India, General Motors and others planning to launch a compact car next year, he said: "The strategy is being worked out and we are not ready to discuss it now."

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