The Indian version of the Nissan Micra has had an aggressive pricing campaign but the carmaker has come to the conclusion that to compete in the Asian market, it would have to develop a tailor-made affordable compact car. Nissan Motor India has begun to work on a small car project, which will be its entry-level model, slotted below the Micra when it comes to size and price.
Nissan has been reported to have engaged in talks with commercial vehicle maker Ashok Leyland for the same project. It is currently trying to develop the new model on her own. It’s also likely that the new mini car will replace the Nissan Pixos only in 2013.
Actually, the Pixos is a rebadged version of the A-Star produced by Maruti Suzuki, the Indian company that has agreed to supply Nissan Pixos until 2013.
Nissan is expected at this juncture to consider producing the new entry-level car at its Oragadam plant in Chennai where the Micra is also being produced. n a Business Standard interview, Kiminobu Tokuyama, Managing Director & CEO, Nissan Motor India, revealed a plan to produce a car that’s slotted below the Micra.
Ashok Leyland's Chairman, Dheeraj Hinduja, said that there’s a plan to build a car below the car because there’s a “significant demand for this segment.” Hinduja said further that presently, the company is in the “concept stage” and is studying customers.
Last October, Hinduja said that the car project with Nissan would have to be dropped due to an increasingly competitive market -- a result of better technologies brought in by bigger, global car manufacturers.
Nissan is hoping to enter markets that are dominated by models like Maruti Alto, A-star, Wagon R, Tata Indica, Chevrolet Beat, Ford Figo and Hyundai i10. There are no rivals, but many are eagerly awaiting to see what Nissan can offer design-wise.