Nissan India is planning to take the fight directly to Maruti Suzuki by launching two new small cars, which will be postitioned below the Micra. The first model (codenamed K2) will be built on a two generation old Micra platform (codenamed K11) with modern interiors and exteriors. The K2 will directly compete with the Wagon R and will be launched in December 2012. Using the same 1.2 liter 3-cylinder petrol motor from the Micra, the K2 will be priced at Rs. 3.5 lakhs. A 1.0 liter engine is being considered, which will be highly fuel efficient.

Nissan plans to come up with two wheelbases for the K2, the longer version being kept for the export markets. An MPV version of the K2 is also being designed for the Indonesian market. Using the old platform has helped Nissan save Rs. 50,000/-, which will be imperative for an aggressive price. The second small car is an entry level hatchback (codenamed I2) that will rival the Alto. The I2 is being developed by Defiance Testing and Engineering (an Ashol Leyland acquired US company). Ashok Leyland is Nissan’s joint-venture partner in India and will take the lead in developing the I2. Nissan plans launch the I2 in 2012, priced at Rs 2.5 lakh. The Bajaj ULC may also be a part of Nissan India’s portfolio but that is yet to be confirmed.

Source – ACI