Japanese carmaker Nissan Motor Company, which sells the hatchback Micra in India, is looking to make greater inroads into the booming small car market by driving in cheaper models.
The auto major is considering three to four compact cars in the sub-Rs 5 lakh category for the domestic market over the next three to five years. Several vendors involved in the project have been quoted that Nissan may launch a compact car on the K2 platform by 2013-14 and price it at Rs 3-4 lakh.
This will be followed by an even cheaper compact car, which is being designed by Hinduja Group’s engineering arm Defiance and is likely to be priced at Rs 2-3 lakh. If the company’s talks with Bajaj Auto fructify, Nissan will be able to launch three to four compact cars within three to five years.
Small cars comprise seven of every 10 cars sold in India. While competition is hotting up in the premium hatchback category as well, the sub-Rs 5 lakh category accounts for 40-45 percent-of the small car market.
“We are open to partnerships. We want to have a competitive offering in the Indian market, there are different possibilities from the very bottom of Rs 1.5 lakh to Rs 4 lakh, but I will not get into specifics,” said Gilles Normand, corporate vice-president, Africa, West Asia and India, Nissan Motor.
The company will, however, expand its presence in other categories as well. By 2013, Nissan plans to launch at least one vehicle a year in every segment - small cars, SUV, MPV, luxury cars over the recentlylaunched sedan Sunny.