Japanese auto maker Nissan's presence in the Indian market has been negligible with over 80 per cent of the produce going abroad. The company unveiled the Sunny sedan earlier this week, which would be likely positioned in the Rs 6-8 lakh range, against the VW Vento, Honda City and Hyundai Verna.
Kiminobu Tokuyama, managing director, Nissan Motor India, in an interview with Swaraj Baggonkar, explains the way forward for the company. Edited excerpts:
Where does Nissan sales strategy stand as of today?
Last year we sold 13,000 units, including the Micra which was launched last July. This year, we plan to sell 40,000 units in the domestic market, which will include the Sunny sedan.
What kind of component sourcing plan Nissan has from India?
For the Micra, we have achieved 85 per cent of the local content. We have close to 100 suppliers in India today. This year we want to export $100 million worth of components to our global manufacturing facilities. We are exporting to Thailand, UK, Europe, Japan and China.
To how many countries will the Sunny be exported from India?
The Nissan Sunny is sold in about 170 countries globally. We plan to export to countries in West Asia and the Africa region and other centres.
Why has Nissan not been able to achieve the numbers which its competitors have managed every month?
We are still in the ramping stage as regards the dealer network. If you compare the dealership with other competitors, then ours is not enough.
We now have 40 dealers in operations and want to expend that to 60 by the end of the year. This is one challenge.
What other products Nissan is working on presently?
We do have a plan to launch a multi-purpose vehicle, which will come out of the very successful joint venture with Ashok Leyland in 2012. It will be sold through Nissan's dealership and branded as Nissan
Will there be any small car lower than the Micra?
We are studying our opportunity for the launch of a small car under the Micra, which is where there is a segment between Rs 2-4 lakh. We have seen a great potential for growth in that segment. We are currently studying the product concept.