Nissan to also introduce diesel hatch in the next few months.
Nissan Motors has a good history with their supermini offering the Nissan Micra and India is one of three new countries that Nissan Motors has chosen to manufacture the new fourth generation vehicle. Starting production in 1982 from its plant in Japan, the Nissan Micra (or should I say Nissan March) has come a long way to reach its present form. The second and third generation Micra was also manufactured in Sunderland in England and after an association of 18 years came to an end in July 2010. The Sunderland plant will be used to manufacture Nissan’s new offering in the market segment as the Micra.
The manufacturing of the Micra in England was made deciding that Nissan would shift operations to five new locations but so far there are only three in India, Thailand and China. The operations at India were meant to serve the European, Middle Eastern and African markets, Thailand meant to serve South East Asian, Japanese and Australian markets and China meant to serve Chinese and Mexican markets.
Nissan Motors India have every reason to be happy with the response it has received in the country for its compact hatch the Micra and the manufacturing plant in Chennai began operation in July 2010. The main expectations of Nissan when it chose India as one of its manufacturing locations was for the Indian market to firstly respond well to car and secondly to begin exports to Europe, Middle East and Africa. In a short span of four months Nissan Motor India has achieved sales of around 4500 cars and is on its way to achieving a lot more.
The first consignment of 3,866 cars has already been sent to Europe and this breaks new ground for the newest Made-in-India Nissan hatch. In the 2010-2011 year Nissan Motors India hopes to export around 1.10 lakh units to more than 100 countries across Europe, Middle East and Africa. Nissan plans to make their manufacturing plant at Chennai a key figure in their global growth plan and the initial export figures should make for good reading. The plant is to be the strategic hub not only for domestic manufacturing but for exports as well and will serve to showcase the high standard of Indian build quality and engineering of Nissan products on a global scale.
The success of the Nissan Micra in India has been well received in all circles connected to Nissan Motors and it was but natural in a country obsessed with mileage that a diesel variant would be necessary. Taking into account customer feedback and the chance to further boost sales, Nissan Motors India was soon on the job to get the diesel version of compact hatchback into the Indian market.
According to the CEO and Managing Director of Nissan Motor India, Mr. Kiminobu Tokuyama, “The success of petrol variant of Micra in the domestic market has given us huge confidence to introduce Diesel variant within six months from the launch of petrol version. We are aware that this is a very important phase of our journey and we standby our commitment to provide Indian customers with a full range of products and services. We are confident that Diesel-powered Micra would fulfill the discerning needs of Indian Customers.”
The Nissan Micra diesel should be available to Indian audiences by December of this year and is most likely to use the motor that currently does the job on the Mahindra Renault Logan. This will be the 1.5 liter, four cylinder unit that is currently produced by Nissan’s strategic alliance partner Renault in a number of variants. For the diesel Micra though this should be the motor that produces 70 horsepower and a maximum torque of 160 Nm. Seeing that the Nissan Micra is a light weight vehicle, the engine should prove to be very powerful and it aims to make the Nissan Micra diesel the benchmark for fuel efficiency in its segment.
Nissan has already started taking pre-order booking for the Nissan Micra diesel version across its 20 dealerships and Abhijeet Pandit, Marketing and After Sales, Vice-President says that, “Ever since we launched the petrol variant in July, we have been flooded with enquiries for Micra Diesel. I am confident that the Diesel-powered Micra, is a good value proposition and a desirable option to choose from, for the Indian customers during this festival season. We are elated with the overwhelming response received for the petrol variant across all our dealerships and keenly look forward to copy this success. We are also aggressively ramping our sales and service network.”
The Nissan Micra diesel should be available for a bit more than the petrol and customers should expect to pay around Rs.25,000 to Rs. 30,000 more depending on trim levels and options. Nissan seems to have hit the nail on the head by introducing its operations to India and i am sure even the folks at Nissan have been amazed with how well the company is doing in the country. Top managers are just keeping their fingers crossed and hoping that the initial success they have achieved will continue. The same can be said for some Indian car manufacturers as the success of any Indian made car will only serve to boost the image of Indian made cars globally.
Nissan Micra Specifications
Body & Engine Specifications
Body Type – Hatchback
Engine Type – Petrol / Diesel
Displacement – 1198cc, HR12, 3 cylinder / diesel not confirmed yet
Maximum Power (Petrol / diesel) – 75 hp / 70 hp
Maximum Torque (Petrol / diesel) – 104 Nm / 160 Nm
Seating Capacity – 5 persons
Suspension (Front / Rear) – McPherson Strut, Torsion Beam
Brakes – Front Disc / Rear Drum
Transmission – 5-speed manual
Weight – 970 kgs
Mileage (city / hwy) – 14 km/l / 18 km/l
Price of Nissan Micra– 3.9 lakhs – 5.25 lakhs
Comfort & Convenience
Power Windows: Front and Rear
Central Door Lock
Steering Tilt Adjustment
Remote Keyless with Push Button Ignition
Driver Side Front Window with Auto down & Anti-Pinch Function
Front Passenger Airbag
Front Fog Lamps
ABS + EBD + BA