'Plans to set up plant to bring Datsun to India under study'
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Nissan Motor India today said it is undertaking a study to set up a new plant for manufacturing the "Datsun" range of small cars in the country, a top company official said.
"It is under study. Chennai of course is one of the candidates", Nissan Motor India Managing Director and CEO Takayuki Ishida told PTI. "Currently Nissan (Motor Company) headquarters is handling it. It is not a local issue. Of course the implementation is local, but decision making is taken by headquarters," he added.
Last month it was reported that the Franco-Japanese auto alliance Renault Nissan will invest USD 320 million to set up a second plant in India.
Last year, Nissan had said it intends to bring 10 models to India, including the "Datsun" brand priced at below Rs 4 lakh by 2016 to increase its market share to 10 per cent.
Asked about capacity expansion plans of the joint venture manufacturing facility with Renault near here, Ishida said they would consider it next fiscal. "Currently, we have two (assembly) lines with three shifts. Next year we will look for expansion", he said,adding another shift can be taken up to increase capacity.
Nissan in association with Renault has established its Rs 4,500 crore facility at nearby Oragadam to produce its range of cars. Nissan has 70 per cent stake in plant operations. He said government's three per cent excise duty hike for Sports Utility Vehicles would not have much impact on Nissan as the maximum capacity of its vehicles are less than prescribed norms of 1500 cc.
"Maybe sales of 370Z will be affected. Normally customers getting 370Z do not care about (additional) duty costs," he said. Nissan retails Evalia and 370Z besides hatchback 'Micra' and medium sedan "Sunny". It plans to have 300 dealerships by 2016.
Ishida said the company has received an overwhelming response to the safety drive simulation centre with more than 3000 people visiting the Centres at Mumbai, Delhi and Chennai. Such a model had become very popular in China with more than 10,000 people visiting the event, he said, adding Nissan offers the same concept adopted in its cars at these centres.
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