We speak to Andrew Palmer, Chief Planning Officer, Nissan; Chairman, Global Infiniti Division as he had short visit to Mumbai for the Nissan Sunny facelift launch. The new titivated version of the Sunny has been embellished with several new features to be at par with the competition, giving the Japanese manufacturer an advantage with its lower price. Andrew spoke to us about Nissan’s future plans for India and even hinted at some upcoming vehicles too.
Q1) What expectations from Nissan for this year?
Ans) The Datsun brand has had a good start and very good signs of growth as the market isn’t growing and we have seen a hike in sales by 142% in the first quarter. It is a pity about the economy as the sales have dropped. This somewhere suggests we have gained some traction. So far we have 2 percent market share and we target 10 percent, with five for Nissan and Datsun each.
Q2) Do you think you lost ground with Hover?
Ans) Yes, we have with our products. The Sunny and Micra could have done better. There are obviously things we had to do to improve the products. The new upgraded products are more premium. But what we lost is time, as we need to reach 300 dealers by now and we are still on 160. So, we are running a year late at the moment.
Q3) Any update on CMFA platform? When do we see the vehicles? Is it on time?
Ans) It is all on time and as it all India project and you can see the first set of products in 2016. Quite a lot of good work is done.
Q4) Initially Nissan wanted to get products from higher to lower products and now it is the other way? As X-Trail, 370Z have been discontinued.
Ans) We are certainly concentrating on the beef, but we will like to have the halo cars like 370Z. I will like to have the GT-R as the Halo, we have the Teana under the same group. We could see the Nissan Leaf, if the government improves the infrastructure and other subsidies.
Q5) Tell us something about the IDX? When could we see or hear more about it?
Ans) Our sports car strategy is to have four cars in this category. There being two in the more tradition category (GT-R and the Z) and two in the new category. The new being of which one is IDX— downsized engines, rear wheel drive with lightweight composite body— and other one is BladeGlider, an electric car.
Source : CarDekho