Nissan India starts Micra production

Written by fe Bureaus | Chennai | Updated: May 26 2010, 04:10am hrs
Nissan Motor has started production of its first made-in-India compact car, Micra , at its Oragadam plant near Chennai. Sales will commence from July.

Nissan India is pitching Micra against Maruti Swift, Hyundai i10 and Ford Figo in the B and B+ segments The category garners 70-75% of the total passenger car market in India (1.43 million units in 2009), said industry sources. An official declined comment on the competitive strategy as well as the price, which will be disclosed at the time of the launch in mid-July.

From May 25, customers will get an opportunity to take a closer look at the Nissan Micra as it will be displayed in Nissan showrooms across the country. The company has also decided to start pre-order bookings at these showrooms. The booking amount is Rs 50,000. The launch will be supported by comprehensive print, digital, radio and TV campaign shortly.

Toshiyuki Shiga, Chief Operating Officer, Nissan Motor Company, said: The start of commercial production of Nissan Micra is the beginning of a new chapter for us in India. In an exponentially growing and challenging Indian automobile industry, we are introducing a product that has been designed keeping in mind the discerning consumer needs of India. The India-made Micra will supply to strategic markets such as Europe, West Asia and this is only possible due to the high quality skills of Indian team.

Kiminobu Tokuyama, MD and CEO, Nissan Motor India, said: The day that all of us were waiting for has finally arrived and we are delighted with the roll out of the first car. We always had a clear strategy for India and this has been clearly reflected in our investments in the first manufacturing plant for the alliance in Chennai. We are now confident that the Indian customers will like our product offerings beginning with the Nissan Micra, and this is the right product at the right time.

Set up at Oragadam, the plant spread over an area of 640 acres, will have a total investment of Rs 4,500 crore ($990 million) with the capacity to make 4 lakh units a year at full capacity. Today, the plant employs 1,900 workers and will reach 3,000 employees in two years.

The company, along with its supplier park in Chennai, estimates a total of 6,000 jobs to be created in the region. The initial production capacity at the plant will be 200,000 units and the company is looking at producing more than 80,000 units this year. Nissan Micra was designed and tested in Japan and fine-tuned to meet the differing tastes and needs of customers worldwide.