Nissan Motor slow in India so far, but ready to advance with alliance for bigger play: Makoto Uchida | Autocar Professional

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Makoto Uchida, the global CEO and President of Nissan Motor Corporation says the brand may have been a bit slow and small in the past, but the company has “strengths” to “advance with its alliance in India.”

Visiting India immediately after announcing its new mid-term vision coined Nissan Arc, which envisages India to play a critical role as an export hub in future global growth of the brand – Uchida was at the factory in Oragadam on the outskirts of Chennai with his Renault counterpart Luca de Meo and the alliance chairman Jean Dominique Senard to review its India gameplan.

“There’s a huge potential that we foresee, and therefore we decided how we can come up with a competitive model, which in the alliance, using the common platform, and to have a fully localised model by the team here. The alliance is fully committed to India, and this is not only for the vehicles for India, but as a second step – simultaneously, we want to think how we can utilise or leverage the strengths of India from India to the outside,” added Uchida.

At the recent global strategic meet, Nissan Motor senior management told Autocar Professional that the company will soon be expanding its portfolio from 1 model to 4 models in the next three years and it sees potential exports of about 1 lakh units annually from the country to cater to many global markets.  

The made-in-India Magnite compact SUV with the Left Hand Drive variant will make its way to Mexico, which is set to bring in incremental global volumes for Nissan in India. 

Uchida says the brand has shown “courage and commitment” towards India, despite facing different challenges in the country.  It has managed to sustain itself in the market for almost four years with just one model Magnite.

Till date, the alliance has produced over 2.7 million vehicles at the Oragadam factory with almost 1.2 million vehicles shipped to over 100 countries. Additionally, the company has produced over 4.4 million powertrains over the last 17 years of its local presence. 

The Renault-Nissan alliance has so far invested over $1.8 billion in the country and it has committed an additional $650 million for the next mid-term to churn out 6 different vehicles – 2 SUVs and 1 EV each for both brands.

“In the near future, our family will be expanded with the addition of new 5 and 7 seater SUV, furthermore our teams are working to introduce alternative energy options, such as compressed natural gas and compatibility with ethanol. All our combined efforts in India will contribute to Nissan’s business plan, the Arc which we have announced,” said Uchida.

This means two things. One is, if you manage to be competitive here for the Indian customer and against the Indian competitor that, by the way, we have noticed that becomes stronger and stronger, it means that you have built a machine that is very powerful and that you can use also outside of India.

 

 

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