Renault-Nissan To Focus On New Products For India
With the production of the new fifth-gen Micra shifted to Europe, the carmaker will utilise the plant capacity for other cars
Of the four cars Nissan sells in India, the Micra is its best-seller. The hatchback, which competes against the likes of the Maruti Suzuki Swift and Hyundai Grand i10 in India, was launched in 2010. Renault-Nissan Alliance’s Oragadam facility in Chennai was, back then, chosen as one of the manufacturing hubs for the model and Nissan used to export the fourth-gen Micra to Europe from India.
Nissan showcased the fifth-gen Micra last year and revealed that the Euro-spec model will be produced at one of Renault’s facility in France. As a result, the exports of the fourth-gen Micra from India took a hit. However, the carmaker is seeing it as an opportunity to manufacture other car models in India as its alliance partner, Renault, and sister-brand, Datsun, have seen better acceptance for some of their cars like the Duster, Kwid and the redi-GO. Apart from the Nissan GT-R, which is imported to the country, the alliance’s facility in Chennai manufactures all current Renault, Nissan and Datsun models sold here.
These products are based on three platforms that are localised in India: the CMF-A (Common Module Family) on which the Kwid and redi-GO are based; the B0 platform that underpins the Duster, Terrano and Captur; and the V-platform on which the Micra and Sunny are based.
Now it’s worth noting that the fifth-gen Micra is also based on the existing V-platform. However, Nissan doesn’t have any plans to introduce the new model in India anytime soon. The new Micra is a more premium offering than the current model and, if launched here, it would rival the likes of the Maruti Suzuki Baleno and the Hyundai Elite i20. Instead, Nissan’s intermediate plans are to keep the existing fourth-gen Micra refreshed by way of updating it with modern features and minor cosmetic enhancements. The carmaker introduced a more feature loaded version of the hatchback in India last year. Expect another update to the model in the coming months.
Micra aside, we’re aware that Renault and Nissan have plans to introduce more models based on the CMF-A and the B0 platforms in India. Renault is already working on an all-electric version of the Kwid and a CMF-A-based compact MPV. Datsun, too, is reported to launch more products using the CMF-A modular platform. In the more premium range, we expect Nissan to bring the Kicks, a compact SUV that will rival the likes of the Hyundai Creta and the Renault Captur, to India this year.
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