Nissan India is working on a small car and it is being assisted on this by the Hinduja Group’s IT arm of Defiance technologies. Why Hinduja Group you say? Well, Hinduja Group is the owner of Ashok Leyland Motors which has an alliance with Nissan in India. It seems like this partnership is not just limited to its subsidiary, Ashok Leyland. Hinduja group is extending its full support to Nissan by allowing its IT arm to assist Nissan in its latest venture. This news has been revealed by the Chairman of Hinduja Group, Dheeraj Hinduja.
This mighty Hinduja Group was established in the year 1914 and is a group of various companies working on global level. Although it is an Indian firm, it is headquartered in London City in UK, since 1979. One of the companies under this group is the Indian automobile manufacturer, Ashok Leyland. It was established in the year 1948 and is currently located in Chennai. This subsidiary of Hinduja Group is dedicated to commercial vehicles like trucks, buses and military vehicles. The company joined hands with Nissan in the year 2007 and the 2 firms share a common manufacturing plant located in Chennai. Nissan works in India through its subsidiary, Nissan Motor India Private Limited, which was started in the year 2005 and has been doing exceptionally well in the country.
Hinduja Group has extended engineering and IT support to its partner in developing a small car as a “contract service”. Hinduja Group chairman has clearly stated that it will not venture in Nissan’s domain (passenger cars) in any way.
Ashok Leyland will continue to focus on the commercial vehicle segment. The recently launched MPV Stile is also planned by the company as a ‘commercial’ passenger car with both export and domestic interests. The company will be open to various acquisition options as well which can help it reach its target of being among the top 10 truck manufacturers in the world and among the top 5 bus dealers in th world.
Hinduja Group said to Times of India that “Our core focus is on commercial vehicles including light commercial vehicles (LCVs). The work that Defiance is doing (on the small car) is purely for Nissan. We have expanded our range into adjacent segments like the construction equipment business with John Deere and the financing company which we have restarted apart from Defiance, which is an IT and engineering company. We will try to grow the defence sector as well where we are a major provider of vehicles but we are not going to get into cars ourselves. We will, however, have more passenger applications on commercial vehicle platforms — Stile upwards — like a micro bus for example.”
Although the group expects that their alliance with Nissan will offer them with many other options to collaborate. The company wishes to export the successful LCV Dost. Commenting on this he said that “We are discussing the option of sharing Dost in certain export markets which are being studied right now but in India Dost will continue to be ‘only’ an Ashok Leyland-badged vehicle.”
It is a global trend where companies seek IT help from other leading firms. This collaboration has presented two possibilities. Since Nissan is working on a small car, it can either be a new Micra variant or it can be a new small car planned by Nissan to join the line up with Micra. We will have to wait and watch.