The Nissan-Renault alliance in India has decided to increase production at its plant near Chennai to 500,000 units per annum from the current level of 400,000 units by optimising the operations.
With the forthcoming launch of three Datsun brands in India from next year coupled with its plans to have seven new models between now and 2016, Nissan, on behalf of the alliance, would also put up a new manufacturing line to add 2 lakh more units per annum, said Toru Hasegawa, corporate vice-president (Africa, Middle East & India), Nissan Motor, Japan.
In response to a question on the capacity constraints in Chennai owing to new launches, Hasegawa said, “We were 200,000 units in 2012 and reached to 400,000 units this year under two lines. Given the growth projections, we have decided to increase it to 500,000 units per annum by ramping up production capacity through three shifts with slight modifications and refinement. We have some additional land at our existing facility in Oragadam where we can another production line, which can add 200,000 more units per annum.”
“We have made more than $1 billion investments into this plant and we have decided to double our investments in India over the next few years, including investing into capacity addition, new products, technology etc. India remains high on the high growth market list for us and can be also a testing ground before we introduce products in Indonesia, Brazil, Africa among emerging markets,” he said.
According to him, for Nissan and the alliance in general, the contribution from high growth markets, including India, will touch 60% of overall sales by 2016 against 40% now.
“We are also increasing our dealer network to 300 by 2016 from 145 now. Nissan has exported 270,000 units of Micra and Sunny since inception, thereby becoming second largest exporter of cars after Hyundai,” he added.
Hasegawa also said the company is setting up two more major parts warehouses near Mumbai and Haryana to cover northern and western regions demand and supply. Nissan currently has one major parts warehousing centre in Chennai.