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Nissan Readies Domestic Strategy

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After two years of focusing on exports, Nissan has laid out an all India strategy. With the launch of the Evalia — code name NV 200 — a 1.5-litre diesel powered multi ultility vehicle, it plans to enter the sub Rs 10 lakh market. The Evalia has also been chosen by the local council of New York for replacing all taxis in that city.

"The first two years we worked on 90 per cent exports because we had to build our reputation in India," says Gilles Normand, Corporate VP of Nissan India. He adds that the Evalia will be manufactured from August 2012. Nissan will sell close to 40,000 cars this financial year. Gilles adds that with the Sunny sedan, Micra hatch and Evalia MUV the Indian market has value products for Nissan to capture 5 per cent market share in 3 years. A fourth value segment sedan too is on its way.

The Evalia has been built on the B-platform of cars, which is the same hatch platform on which globally successful cars such as the Renault Cleo and the Nissan Cube have been built.

There will be an Evalia based light commercial vehicle in a year's time. There will be separate dealerships for this vehicle. Nissan has close to 50 dealerships and will go up to 100 in a year's time. Together with its alliance partner Renault, both aim to sell close to 200,000 cars. Nissan hopes to reach the 100,000 number in two years.

Its supplier base of 130 vendors have increased exports of parts from $60 million in 2010 to $100 million this year. It is also setting up a power train facility with flexible diesel and petrol lines. Sources say it could produce 200,000 engines and more. "The Evalia has sold more than 100,000 cars globally. These global platforms help us to tweak for local markets", says enior Vice President and Chief Creative Officer, Design, Brand Management, Shiro Nakamura.

Nissan showcased the Nissan Leaf and the GTR sport. "The Leaf is the first generation of electric cars. We are working on 3 more generations," says  Nakamura.