Renault-Nissan workers threaten strike: Kiger, Magnite waiting times to get longer?

The workers at Renault-Nissan’s car plant will be going on a strike on Wednesday. This is because their safety demands related to COVID-19 are not being met. This information was shared by the company in a letter that was written by the union that represented the workers. The plant is located in Tamil Nadu and is being jointly owned by Renault and Nissan.

The workers accused the manufacturer that the COVID-19 protocols such as social distancing was not being followed in the factory. They also said that the factory health policies did not sufficiently address the risk to lives. These allegations were made by the workers in a court hearing. This is the factory where the latest compact SUVs from both manufacturers are being produced. Nissan’s Magnite and Renault Kiger are the latest offering and might be the most important vehicle currently in their line-up.

A letter by the union dated 24th May said, “Due to unsafe working conditions and as the union demands have not been met … members of this union will not report to work from the first shift on Wednesday,” The letter also said that the workers would not return until they felt safe in the working environment. The union currently represents 3,500 workers that are working at the Tamil Nadu plant located in Oragadam, Chennai.

Nissan currently owns a majority of the stake in the production plant. They have declined to say anything on the matter, commenting that the matter was in court. The manufacturers rejected the claims of the union saying that they needed to continue the production to meet the production orders.

Tamil Nadu is currently experiencing more than 30,000 cases of COVID-19 every day. Because of this, the state has imposed a lockdown in Tamil Nadu but still, some factories which include automobile manufacturing plants are still operating.

Nissan’s latest launch in the Indian market is the Magnite. Currently, the waiting period for the new compact SUV has crossed 9 months. It is a frugal and feature-rich compact SUV which many people liked because of its very competitive pricing. The Magnite is offered in five variants namely XE, XL, XV, XV Premium, and XV Premium (O). It starts at Rs. 5.59 lakhs ex-showroom and goes up to Rs. 10 lakhs ex-showroom.

Renault launched the Kiger which has slightly more road presence than the Kiger because of its design language. Kiger’s waiting period is up to 7 months depending on the variant you opt for. It is offered in four variants namely, RXE, RXL, RXT, and RXZ. The Renault Kiger starts at Rs. 5.45 lakhs ex-showroom and goes up to Rs. 9.75 lakhs ex-showroom. The Kiger is currently the most affordable compact SUV in the Indian market.

Both SUVs share underpinnings. They have the same platform, engines and transmissions. So, there is a 1.0-litre naturally aspirated petrol engine and a 1.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine. The naturally aspirated engine produces 72 PS and 96 Nm whereas the turbo petrol produces 100 PS and 160 Nm. Both the engines are offered with a 5-speed manual gearbox as a standard. The turbo petrol is offered with a CVT automatic gearbox also. The Kiger’s naturally aspirated petrol engine is also available with a 5-speed AMT gearbox.