The employees at Renault-Nissan plant, Chennai recently celebrated the production of their 100,000th Micra. This achievement comes just after a year since its launch, when the first hatchback Micra was launched in May last year. The workforce at the plant has now expanded to 4,000 from the earlier 1,500 for meeting the growing demand in India and overseas.
The $990mn or INR 45bn plant is the Nissan-Renault alliance’s first vehicle manufacturing facility in India, with the fourth generation Micra, being the first model to roll off the assembly line here. Micra will soon be joined by a new sedan and a CV in 2012 that will part of their line-up following their JV with the Ashok Leyland Co.
Following its launch in the Indian auto market, the Micra has contributed to the sales growth in the market, selling around 15,000 models to date. This car is also produced at the company’s other facilities located in China, Mexico and Thailand. The Chennai plant has a total 400,000 production capacity, and will supply Micra to more than 100 countries pan Europe, Africa and the Middle East. Around 70,000 models have been exported to the nearby deep water Ennore port to date.
The company’s corporate VP for India, Africa and the Middle East, Giles Normand, said that he would like congratulating all those associated with their plant in Chennai for reaching this milestone. This plant will provide them with a localised and skilled production base and is an important part of their strategy for sustainable and profitable growth in India, of which the success of Micra is just one step towards realising their potential in the market.
Chennai is essential in regards to producing high quality and high volume products to export in overseas markets. With the strong and continued support of the state government, he hopes that this facility will emerge as one of their most significant production centres.
Apart from Micra, Nissan sells the lifestyle SUV, X-TRAIL; the sports car, 370Z and the Teana sedan in India. Nissan aims to have coverage of 85% by 2013, in India, by expanding their dealer outlets to more than 100, from the present 35.
The plant’s CEO and MD, Kou Kimura, said that he is proud of the endeavor taken by their Chennai staff and supported by their suppliers that has resulted in the production of their 100,000th Micra in a short span of time. This reflects not only the popularity of the model within the export and domestic markets, but also the long-term commitment of the company to India.