Nissan India announced that the company is looking ahead to bring in a model in the sub 3 lakh category to the Indian market very soon. Nissan feels that the vision for developing the car has become more than mature but didn’t reveal any further details on the possible launch time frame. The small car from Nissan stable will however be positioned in the Rs. 2 to 3 lakh category thus making it expensive than the current Nano. Nano will then continue to retain the tag of being the cheapest car that money can buy in the world. The idea behind the small car from Nissan is that they want to cater to the needs of the people who want to graduate from a Nano or a 2-wheeler and so on.
“We will look at an affordable car without a doubt. There are several sub-segments (under the Rs 3-lakh space) and we have ambitions to traverse as many of those as practically possible,” Mr. Andy Palmer, Executive VP, Nissan, said.
The small car from Nissan will be directly competing with the Maruti Suzuki Alto that sells about a 20,000 per month. Hyundai recently joined the same bandwagon of offering small car for the customers with its Eon. The Eon however, sells for a slightly higher premium than the Alto. Earlier also Nissan had shown interest in developing a small car for which it entered into a partnership with the utility vehicle maker, Ashok Leyland. However, the joint venture didn’t go along well since Ashok Leyland didn’t find the venture too attractive from business sense. Nissan currently can jointly develop this small car with its French partner; Renault which already manufactures the V platform based models at the Chennai based manufacturing facility. Renault is also supposedly working on a small car project but hasn’t revealed many details about it. It would be interesting to see how these companies attack the small car segment in the future.