Nissan has confirmed that it will launch two new cars – a sedan and an MPV – in India by 2012. The company hasn’t revealed the names of the models but the sedan will presumably be the much-talked about Nissan Sunny while the MPV would likely be the Nissan NV200.
First up would be the Sunny, slated for launch around Diwali this year. Earlier, the NV200 was also speculated to be rolled out in 2011, but going by a recent news report it appears that the MPV’s launch has now been deferred to next year.
The Economic Times carried a report quoting Nissan Motor India Managing Director and CEO Kiminobu Tokuyama: “The upcoming [Sunny] sedan will be built on the same platform on which the Micra is built and will be launched first in China. It will be manufactured in our Chennai plant for the Indian market. We will launch the vehicle in 2011.” He added that another vehicle [NV200], which is expected to compete with Toyota’s Innova, will be launched in 2012.
The Nissan Sunny sedan, slated for an October 2011 launch, is expected to set you back by Rs. 7.5 lakh.
The car is sold as the Tiida and Versa in some markets. Sketches of the Sunny were first revealed by Nissan last October while actual images showed up on the internet in November 2010. The interior of the car, especially the steering and the central console, is similar to that on the Nissan Micra. Related: Nissan Micra based Sunny sedan pictures revealed
The exterior, reminiscent of the Nissan Teana, appears to have been sculpted in a similar fashion. The Sunny will likely be powered by the same 1.5-litre diesel engine that’s on the Micra apart from a 1.6-litre petrol mill when it comes to India. There will also be an automatic variant of the Sunny, which Nissan plans to sell in China.
The NV200 will be powered by a re-tuned version of Mahindra Logan’s 1,500 cc diesel engine that produces 85 bhp of power and 200 Nm of torque, with a 5-speed manual gearbox. The car is 4.4m long, 1.86m, tall and 1.69m wide. Also Read: Nissan NV200 MPV launch in India next year
The Nissan MPV will compete with segment leaders like Toyota Innova, Chevrolet Tavera and Mahindra Xylo. There are speculations that a more affordable variant of the NV200 could address the needs of movers and packers or parcel companies attracting buyers who need vehicles similar to the obsolete Mahindra Voyager and Maruti Omni. The NV200 could also attract buyers of the Tata Venture and Tata Winger and will be priced between Rs. 6 lakh and Rs. 10 lakh.
Nissan shifts corporate office to Chennai
The Renault-Nissan plant at Oragadam, near Chennai, is the mother plant for the Nissan Micra. Yesterday, Nissan opened its corporate office spread over 13,500 square feet in T Nagar, Chennai. Speaking about the inauguration of the new corporate office, Tokuyama said that the new facility will meet the requirements of Nissan’s growing operations in the country. The new corporate office’s location is also part of the company’s strategy to draw synergies with Nissan’s alliance partner, Renault, which has its corporate office in the same building.
Nissan also opened a new dealership dubbed Fortune Nissan in Andhra Pradesh taking its total number of dealerships in India to 32. Spread over 35,000 square feet, the dealership will sell the Teana, X-Trail, 370Z and the Micra.
Tokuyama said Nissan expects to ship 1.1 lakh units of the Micra to Europe, Africa and West Asia from its manufacturing plant in Chennai. He said that Nissan began exporting the Micra small car in October 2010 and has shipped 55,000 cars to Europe, Africa and the Middle East so far. Related : Nissan Micra prices to go up
In April 2011, Nissan Motor India hiked prices of its small car, the Micra, citing rising input costs as a key reason. The hike will vary from Rs. 2,500 to Rs. 11, 170 depending on the variant.
Rising input costs such as natural rubber (increased two fold from Rs. 100 – Rs. 200 per kg) steel and copper (up 12-15%) are forcing car makers to raise prices. Currently, the petrol variant of the Micra is sold in the price range of Rs. 4.06 lakh – Rs. 4.36 lakh and the diesel variant is available for Rs. 5.59 lakh – Rs. 6.05 lakh.