Nissan Motor India Pvt. Ltd. has confirmed that they will launch five new vehicles in India before the end of 2012. Kiminobu Tokuyama, Managing Director and CEO, NMIPL, told the media, “Our product launch plan to India is aggressive, as we have planned to line-up nine models by 2012, of which five models will be produced in India and four models will be the imports from Japan’. Alongside the proceedings of these product launches, Nissan’s primary aim still lies in increasing the number of dealerships to 100 at least, by 2013. The Japanese carmaker wants to reach a sales milestone of 1-lakh units per year and hence the aggressive product-launch campaign.
Nissan Micra diesel
The Nissan Micra has gotten off to a flying start! Within a few months of its launch there is already an order backlog of over 2,500 units of the Micra. This has forced Nissan India to increase production of the Micra 1.2-litre petrol from 255-units to 500 units a day at their Chennai plant. But this initial hype is sure to die down and once the new Swift comes out later this year, Nissan will have to think of new strategies to maintain the Micra’s stronghold and even increase it further.
Helping this cause will be the diesel variant of the Micra. Nissan India had made it clear during the launch of the Micra petrol that the diesel variant was to follow by the end of 2011. The Micra diesel will be powered by a 1.5-litre engine which will essentially be a retuned version of the engine that powers the Mahindra Logan 1.5 dCi. In the real world, the 1.5-litre diesel mill will be good for 23-24 kmpl given the low weight and intelligent engineering behind the V-platform that underpins the current generation Micra. Like the petrol variant, the Micra 1.5-diesel will also be exported to other developing markets in Nissan’s portfolio. We expect the Micra 1.5 diesel to be priced at a premium of Rs. 35,000 over an equivalent petrol variant of the Micra hatchback.
Micra based sedan scoop shots on the next page>>>
Nissan Micra-based sedan
Mr. Kiminobu Tokuyama, Managing Director and CEO, NMIPL, had confirmed that a Micra based sedan is headed for India. We had shown you scoop pics of the Micra based sedan being tested in China a few months back. The Micra based sedan will replace the Tiida sedan in some markets, while in a few others it will be called the new ‘Sunny’. We are not sure if either of the two names will make it to India though. The Micra based sedan will be powered by a 1.5-litre petrol engine, which will be a four cylinder variant of the three pot mill that powers the petrol Micra hatchback.
The 1.5-litre engine is called HR15DE in Nissan-speak and will be good for 108hp in its stock state of tune. However, we expect a slight detuning for India, thanks to quality of fuel available in our country. A diesel option will come in the guise of the same 1.5-litre dCi engine that powers the Mahindra Logan. Its frugal character and low cost of maintenance should make it a strong contender in the executive sedan market. With more contemporary looks and the Nissan badge, the Micra based sedan will surely do better than the unsuccessful stint that the Logan has had so far.
Info about a Maruti Suzuki R3 rivaling Nissan MPV on the next page>>>
After the Micra hatchback and the Micra-based B-segment sedan, the third vehicle that will based on Nissan’s new V-platform, will be a Multi-Purpose Vehicle (MPV). The MPV is currently under early development stages and is codenamed W02C (or J02C depending on the market). Global sources are claiming that the MPV will have a front fascia that will be more or less similar to the one on Micra-based sedan / 2012 Tiida sedan – with similar swept back, elongated headlights and a curvaceous grille.
Nissan, Renault and Bajaj’s pet project was announced way back in 2008 at the Auto Expo. Since then though, the project has seen too many ups and downs in terms of rumors, speculations, confirmations etc. However, the project seems to be on track now with all the three collaborators confirming that the ULC car’s development is going on in full swing.
Though the car is expected to be sold in the respective showrooms of all the three collaborators, Nissan, Renault and Bajaj, Nissan has confirmed that the car will be manufactured by Bajaj alone and won’t be made in Nissan-Renault’s Chennai plant.
The car is expected to cost less than Rs. 2.5-lakh, but with the increase in input costs sky rocketing every year, it is difficult to comment on probable base price for the car. All the three versions of the car are expected to look slightly different to maintain novelty across the three brands. The image seen above is the artist impression of the Renault version of the ULC car. For the Nissan version, we expect Micra-like oval headlights and a Pixo-esque diagonally slotted grille.
Nissan is also getting ready for a commercial vehicle. Pics and info on the next page>>>
The Nissan NV200 Light Commercial Vehicle (LCV) went on sale in Europe last year. Nissan has then started testing the LCV in India as well. The vehicle will be co-developed with Ashok Leyland in India and the component manufacturing will be localised to reduce costs. The LCV is expected to be launched by mid-2011 and will be marketed via the Nissan-Ashok Leyland JV. The LCV will be sold at leading Ashok Leyland dealerships and after sales service too will be provided by Ashok Leyland.
Going by the nature of the Indian market, the NV200 will be renamed to suit the Indian target audience’s taste. The LCV will be powered by a 1.6-litre HR16DE petrol engine. Reports suggest that a powerful derivative of the 1.5-litre dCi diesel is also being tested since diesel is the preferred choice of fuel for commercial vehicle operators.
A high end crossover that will take on the Audi Q5 and the BMW X3. Pics and info on the next page>>>
Nissan has already made its intentions clear of bringing the Murano crossover to India. The Murano will be one of the four vehicles imported from Japan. Sources say that initially the Murano will be imported via the CBU route. Our sources at Nissan also claim that if the Murano takes off well, Nissan will resort to the CKD route and might also consider localizing components and dropping costs to boost sales further.
Nissan Motors India Pvt. Ltd. are through with the homologation process of the facelifted 2011 Murano crossover and are expected to launch the vehicle in December 2010 / January 2011. Prices for the 2011 Nissan Murano variants will lie between the Rs. 45-55 lakh bracket, where they will take on the upcoming new BMW X3 and the Audi Q5 crossover vehicles. Though the Bimmer will have an upper hand with respect to brand image, the Murano will become a strong contender with its radical styling, rugged and up-market poise and a slew of creature comforts.
A facelift of the Nissan’s X-trail SUV is also lined up. Pics and Info on the next page>>>
Nissan X-trail facelift
The current generation X-trail SUV got its final facelift a few months back in Japan before the all new model comes out in 2012. Nissan Motors India are already underway with the homologation process of this facelift version for India. Thanks to the tedious and time consuming homologation procedure in India, expect the X-trail to take at least six months to get the ARAI approval. The facelift model, like the current X-trial, will be imported via the CBU route. Changes will include new headlights, taillights, bumper revisions, additional creature comforts and gadgetry.
A rugged, high end SUV from Nissan is lined up for 2011. Info and photos on the next page>>>
Nissan India is planning to introduce the Patrol by the end of 2011. Surprisingly for many, Nissan India is targeting a sale of only six Patrols in the first year of introduction – that’s one Patrol every two months! So why sell it anyway? Simply put, reputed carmakers like Nissan never wish to become known as a ‘small car’ or ‘budget car’ maker in a new, developing or unpredictable market like India. That’s precisely why the company started off with low volume vehicles like the Teana and X-trail in first place.
The Patrol with its gigantic size and price tag, will further portray Nissan as a premium brand in India –thus boosting sales for the smaller Nissan-badged vehicles. The Nissan Patrol’s power comes from a direct-injected 5.6-liter V8 that’s good for 400 horsepower and 405 pound-feet of torque. The Patrol will compete with the likes of the Land Cruiser Prado and the Land Rover Range Rover. A hot favorite in the Middle East, the Patrol could become a favorite with people looking for a hardcore, square faced, premium SUV.
Every petrolhead’s wet dream and every exotic sportcar owner’s nightmare is coming to India! Info on the next page>>>
Yes, you read it right! Nissan is seriously considering bringing in its flagship performance car, the GT-R to India. Though the 370Z, which they launched last year, has hardly sold 2-3 units so far, the introduction of the GT-R will cement Nissan India’s image of a sports carmaker. The GT-R is already a popular model in India with quite a few of them been imported privately in our country. In fact, reports suggest that Narein Kartikeyan, one of Nissan India’s brand ambassadors, returned the 370Z gifted to him by Nissan and asked for a GT-R instead. Expect the car to be launched by late 2011 or at the 2012 Auto Expo in New Delhi. Stay tuned to Motoroids as we bring you more info on all these nine models as and when we have it…