Move likely to be followed by other auto firms as government looks to crack whip on vehicular pollution and recent policy interventions point towards limiting the use of diesel vehicles in the country
Nissan Motor Co. Ltd, maker of the electric car Leaf, on Friday said it plans to bring its electric and hybrid automobile technologies to India.
“We are in touch with the government and working on the possibilities of bringing this technology to India," Guillaume Sicard, president of Nissan’s India operations, said at a press conference in Kanchipuram.
Nissan is also open to adopting any technology that will reduce emissions from its vehicles, Sicard said.
“This is the right time to venture into the electric cars segment in India. There are a lot of financial impacts, and this technology is expensive, which means the government needs to put some incentives in place to support this technology. We are in discussions and the government is very proactive on this," he said.
Nissan’s move is likely to be followed by other auto firms as the Indian government looks to crack the whip on vehicular pollution and recent policy interventions point towards limiting the use of diesel vehicles in the country.
Auto makers will look to bring in new vehicles and technologies in hybrid and alternative fuel categories as the Indian government looks to fulfil its promise to cut pollution.
There is growing concern over vehicular emissions polluting the nation’s air and adding to its respiratory disease burden.
Delhi’s air has been ranked the world’s dirtiest by the World Health Organization.
From 1 January, the Delhi government has started implementing a policy of allowing cars with odd and even licence plates to ply on alternate days, in a 15-day experiment.
Nissan also said that it will look to slow exports from the country.
“This is a plant that is made for India. The strategy was to make sure we could reach high volume from scratch having the support of exports," Colin MacDonald, managing director, Renault-Nissan Alliance India Pvt. Ltd, said, indicating that as domestic demand picks up, it will cut its dependence on exports.
The Chennai manufacturing unit caters to both the domestic as well as international markets.
It is the second largest car exporter in India with more than 600,000 units shipped to 106 countries since 2010.
As much as 65% of the units from the Chennai facility are targeted at export markets.
The company will also introduce a third model this year under the Datsun brand, its ultra-low cost offering in emerging markets.
The Datsun product is expected to hit the market before the summer.
Meanwhile, Nissan’s new generation X-trail, a sport utility vehicle, or SUV, will be showcased during the upcoming auto show in Delhi.
Nissan, which has an around 1.3% share of the Indian market (according to its own estimates), is aiming for 5% market share by 2020.
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