A quick walk through Nissan India’s business so far
Words: Rishabh Rajesh
Ever wondered what the name ‘NISSAN’ means? ‘NI’ means SUN and ‘ssan’ means PRODUCT or BIRTH. Just like how Maruti Suzuki is a household name in India, Nissan also was and still is one of the household names overseas. Nissan is known for building one of the finest cars for markets across the globe. Nissan Motors India is a completely owned subsidiary of Nissan Motor Co. Ltd, Japan. The Nissan brand in India was incorporated in 2005. As Nissan was known to build really fine, innovative and exciting products, the vision for India was also something similar. To have a good foothold in the Indian market, Nissan had planned to bring 2 brands to the Indian shores.
The first was obviously Nissan India and the second its smaller, mass-market sub-brand which was later merged with Nissan, Datsun. In February 2008, Nissan came along with its global alliance partner Renault to sign an MoU with the Government of Tamil Nadu to establish a manufacturing plant at Oragadam, near Chennai. Also, one more manufacturing plant was set up in Chennai. In a span of 7 years, Nissan planned to invest more than INR 45 billion to gain a grip in the challenging Indian market. In a record-breaking time of 21 months, the alliance inaugurated their plant for the market.
The first model from Nisan India was the Nissan X-Trail which was brought to the country via the CBU route. Following the decent sales of the X-Trail, the company brought in the Nissan Teana in 2007, and the really sporty and eye-catching sports car, the Nissan 370Z in 2010. After the CBU units, the 3 cars which came to the market were of completely different segments. This means that one hatchback, one sedan, and one full-sized MPV were soon launched, all manufactured locally.
The hatchback Micra turned out to be a perfect blend of design, features, and engine performance way back in 2010. The next vehicle in the pipeline was the Nissan Sunny which was Nissan’s flagship sedan that got launched in 2014 and had a fresh look and design compared to rivals. It came in 8 variants and 6 color options. It was among the first cars to be offered with optional curtain airbags for the passengers. The next vehicle was the Nissan Evalia which was a full-sized MPV that was made by keeping the budget in mind. The Evalia was more focused on budget-conscious customers.
As of 2021, Nissan Micra, Sunny, Evalia, Terrano, and a few other models from Nissan have been discontinued due to low sales numbers. The 3 cars on offer in 2021 are Nissan Kicks, the newly launched Magnite, and the imported sports car, Nissan GT-R. The Kicks competes with the Hyundai Creta, Kia Seltos, Maruti Suzuki S-Cross, and more. The Magnite is a compact SUV that competes with the likes of the Brezza, Hyundai Venue, Kia Sonet, Ecosport, Honda WR-V etc. As of now, the Magnite is the most affordable crossover with a starting price of Rs. 5,59,000 alongside its twin, Kiger. The Nissan GTR is the most expensive car of Nissan India, with a whopping price tag of Rs 2,12,40,272.
Nissan may not have enjoyed a big piece of the apple in the Indian market but envisions a promising future with the upcoming models like the Nissan Leaf, Nissan Note-e Power, Nissan Sunny 2021, Nissan X-Trail, Nissan Kicks Facelift and Nissan Terra, which will redefine the future of Nissan in India. Nissan also offers Nissan Connect which is the connected car technology in all its 3 models and will offer in most of its upcoming products.
Currently, Nissan has a vast network of 309 dealerships out of which 173 operate as service centers also. Nissan may not have been the best in terms of service and sales, but it surely has a promising future.
-The validity of facts and opinions mentioned here are responsibilities of the author and Vroom Head India takes no share of it in case of any dispute-