Nissan gears up for its third Datsun car


CHENNAI: Following the Datsun Go and Datsun Go+, Japanese carmaker Nissan will launch a third car in the Datsun range, the concept Ready Go, in the third quarter of the current calendar year, top executives said at an event at the Chennai factory of the Renault Nissan alliance to mark the roll out of the millionth car from the plant.

Nissan will also announce the India launch of another car for the Indian market at the Delhi Auto Show 2016, Guillaume Sicard, President of Nissan India Operations said, refusing to comment further about the car reserved for the auto show.

The Datsun Ready Go will be made on the Common Module Family- A platform, which is an arrangement between alliance partners Nissan and Renault to build a wider range of cars from a smaller pool of parts, resulting in cost savings. The latest launch of Renault, a compact hatchback called Kwid, is built on this platform. For a compact car priced attractively under Rs 4 lakh, it comes with fittings like a navigation system. Launched in September last year, the Kwid has 85,000 bookings so far, according to Colin Macdonald, managing director at the Renault Nissan Alliance.
The strategy for Nissan this year would to attempt to increase market share from the current rate at aober 1.5% to 5% in the Indian passenger car segment, which saw the sale of over 26 lakh cars in the fiscal year 14-15, when the segment registered a year-on-year growth of 3.9%.

“Besides product launches, we will also increase our dealer network to 300 by 2016 to reach out to more customers and strengthen our after-service sales network,” said Sicard.

Renault and Nissan, which runs its Chennai plant of capacity 4.8 lakh cars on a system to drive engine synergy, produces about 2.7 lakh cars a year, with Nissan taking up about 1.6 lakh cars of total production.

The alliance had signed a memorandum of understanding with the state government of Tamil Nadu to investment Rs 4,500 crore as the initial investment target for the factory. Now, their investment stands at Rs 6,100 crore.

Nissan executives said discussions are on with the state government officials to sign the understanding.