Nissan India to export vehicles to over 100 countries

Written by Malabika Sarkar | Malabika Sarkar | Updated: Nov 29 2009, 03:45am hrs
Japanese auto major Nissan Motor Company has big plans for the Indian market. It plans to drive in nine models to the country by 2012. The company also plans to launch its sports car 370Z in India by 2010. In an interview with FEs Malabika Sarkar, Kiminobu Tokuyama, MD & CEO, Nissan Motor India, talks about the importance of the Indian market in the company's global business.Excerpts:

Nissan has signed an MoU with Ennore Port for exporting vehicles to Europe and other countries. What facilities do you get under this MoU

The MoU will enable Nissan to use one whole berth and a car parking yard of over 1,40,000 square metres.

When will you start exporting from Ennore and how many units do you plan to export in the next three to four years

We will start exporting 1,10,000 units in FY 11 and 1,80,000 units in future. Nissan is planning to export vehicles from India to more than 100 countries, including some in Europe.

Tata Steel is your local steel partner. How would it benefit your production in India Which are the countries you source steel from

Nissan aims to have over 80% of localisation in India for better efficiency. It is also planning to export parts from India to other production sites to maximise efficiency.

You are reportedly planning to come out with a next generation A segment car Mirca before next summer. What would the launch be like

We will start production of March/Mirca in India from May 2010. We will announce the launch date when it is ready. The manufacturing unit will initially have the capacity to produce 2,00,000 cars an year that would be later scaled up to 4,00,000.

Apart from Mirca, which models do you plan to launch in the next two years

Nissan is planning to produce five models, including March/Micra. In addition, there will be two models, including a sedan, from the new platform we are developing.

Nissan has announced that it would soon start manufacturing a new electric car, Leaf, for the US market by 2010. Would you export the car to other nations

The Leaf will be launched in the US, Europe, and Japan in late-2010. It will be mass marketed in other parts of the world from 2012.

Nissan has nearly 30 partnerships to study electric vehicle (EV) introduction, such as the ones in Kanagawa Prefecture and Yokohama in Japan as well as in Israel, Portugal, Monaco, the UK, France, Switzerland, Ireland, China, Hong Kong and the US.

What potential do you see in the electric car segment Where does the technology come from

The idea of zero emission is driving us to promote EV production, and our goal is to establish a lead position in the mass market for environmentally friendly vehicles. Nissan is forecasting a 10% global marketshare for EVs.

Automotive Energy Supply Corporation, a joint venture company between Nissan and NEC, will manufacture Battery for them. The motor inverter is developed and manufactured by Nissan.

You are planning to build a lithium-ion battery plant and an EV assembly line in Tennessee, the US. When will the plant become operational and what is its capacity

The production starts from 2012. The plan is to produce 2,00,000 units of batteries and 1,50,000 units of EVs.

When and where do you plan to launch these cars initially

We plan to launch EVs in the US, Europe and Japan by late-2010. However, India is not included in the initial launch markets.