This festive season has been the best for Nissan in India. Sales of its Micra hatchback and newly launched Sunny sedan have picked up quite well. Total sales of all its cars (Micra, Sunny, Teana and X-trail) touched 2,990 vehicles last month.
Discounts lift Nissan Micra sales
The Micra saw sales jump 10% to 1,619 cars in October over the previous month, primarily due to a festival discount scheme that Nissan was running in early October that made the base and mid-variant Micra very attractive indeed. Nissan dropped the price on the Micra XE from Rs. 4.1 lakh to Rs. 3.6 lakh, making the Micra cheaper than even the Ford Figo and Wagon R, while offering more features than both these cars.
The Rs. 50,000 discount on the Micra extended to its other petrol variants as well, which also made the top-end Nissan Micra XV, loaded with features such as power fold mirrors, push-button start, climate control, airbags and ABS, about Rs. 65,000 cheaper than the Maruti Swift. Also read: Rs 50,000 off on Nissan Micra
Sun shines on Sunny
Nissan’s sedan offering, the Nissan Sunny, has the potential to become a serious competitor to the big players in the sedan segment such as the Maruti SX4 on one end and the Toyota Etios on the other, thanks to his high value for money proposition. Sales of the Sunny have picked up after a relatively slow start in September. The Sunny was launched on September 20, and sold 659 in the remaining 10 days of the month. However, October has seen sales of the Sunny rise to 1,340 cars, with total bookings of the Sunny crossing 2,000 cars in the past month.
The Sunny is only offered in a petrol variant at the moment and given the current demand for diesel cars, the sales figures are quite healthy. Maruti’s SX4 has been averaging only about 2,400 cars a month in both petrol and diesel form, while the Toyota Etios that’s again available in both petrol and diesel has sold an average of about 2,800 cars monthly in the past two months.
Nissan only has 45 operational dealers at the moment in the country, a figure that it’s trying hard to ramp up to 100 by the end of next year.
Nissan’s sales outlook
The Sunny diesel that’s expected to be launched in early January will definitely shore up the numbers for Nissan. We expect sales of the Sunny to settle between 2,000 – 2,300 cars a month once the diesel variant is introduced, given that the Sunny has very strong propositions to offer. It is the most spacious car in its segment and actually feels more premium than what it’s positioned as. The Sunny diesel will be powered by Nissan’s K9K diesel engine, which is highly fuel-efficient. (This 1.5 litre diesel engine powers the Nissan Micra, Renault Pulse, Mahindra Verito and Renault Fluence and will soon feature in the Renault Duster and Nissan Sunny diesel.)
Nissan’s sister company – Renault India – will also begin to sell the Renault Pulse in January. The Pulse is a badge-engineered Micra, with some cosmetic changes. Renault-Nissan are also localizing production of the K9K diesel engine, which will further bring costs down and allow for even more aggressive pricing on the Micra and the Pulse and should push up Micra sales further.