Nissan plans to drive in nine models to India by 2012

Nissan plans to drive in nine models to India by 2012

Chennai: Charting out ambitious plans for India, Japanese automaker Nissan on Tuesday said it plans to have as many as nine models by 2012 out of which five will be locally made as it aims to garner around 5% of the market here.

The company along with its French parent Renault is investing Rs4,500 crore in a car plant here, which will start commercial production from May next year.

“We plan to have a total of nine models in the Indian market by 2012, of which five would be made in India," Nissan Motor Co vice president Colin Dodge told reporters during a round table conference here.

He said Nissan will bring three new models during 2009 without specifying details. The company has just two imported models—SUV XTrail and sedan Teana—in India.

Bullish on the Indian market, he said: “There is a strategic importance for India as it has a great potential (with) forecast of over 3 million units in the next five years." The Indian car market, at present, is of over 1.2 million units.

“Globally, Nissan has 5% market share and in India also we hope to have around the same level," Dodge said without specifying a timeline for achieving the target.

He said Nissan will also expand its dealerships to 55 by 2012, from the current 11.

Nissan and Renault are setting up their car plant in Chennai under a joint venture—Renault Nissan Automotive India Pvt Ltd.

Dodge said the JV would increase its employee strength to 3,000 by 2012.

“We will have 1,500 employees by the time production starts at the Chennai plant in May 2010, up from 700 at present. Our aim is to increase the employee strength to 3,000 by 2012," he said.

The Chennai plant would have a total capacity of four lakh units annually once it is fully operationalised.

Dodge said the company would source local components in large amount and its cars would have 85 localisation of components.