Nissan to unveil diesel variant of Micra in India

November 25th, 2010 - 7:06 pm ICT by IANS  

Bangalore, Nov 25 (IANS) Japanese automobile joint venture Nissan Motor India Limited will unveil the diesel variant of its Micra compact hatchback car in December second week, a top company official said here Thursday.

“India will be the first country to have the 1.5-litre K9K diesel version of Micra hatchback with intelligent key, immobilizer, a push-button engine start-stop system and electric foldable mirror,” Nissan Motor India chief executive Kiminobu Tokuyama told reporters here.

Nissan Indian rolled out the petrol variant of Micra in July and sold about 5,000 units during the last four-five months.

“The success of the petrol powered Micra in the Indian market has given us confidence to introduce the diesel variant within six months of its launch in response to popular demand,” Tokuyama said at a pre-launch briefing.

Nissan formed the 50:50 joint venture with French automaker Renault to set up a manufacturing plant at Oragadam near Chennai with an upfront investment of Rs.2,300 crore (about $500 million).

“We signed an agreement with the Tamil Nadu government in February 2008 to invest a total of Rs.4,500 crore (about $980 million) over the next seven years for ramping up the annual production capacity to 400,000 units from the present 100,000 units and introduce a range of models for domestic and export markets,” Tokuyama said.

Though the company has achieved around 85 percent of localisation, engine and the five-speed gearbox are imported from its plants across Asia, including Japan and China.

To be positioned in the B+ segment and priced at Rs.560,000-620,000, the Micra diesel will be powered with the 1.5 litre common rail direct injection, mounted on Nissan’s V platform.

“The wide gear coverage enables the engine to achieve quick acceleration in city driving conditions. The eight-valve four-cylinder engine generates 47kw power at 4,000 revolutions per minute (rpm),” said Nissan R&D centre assistant chief vehicle engineer Gary Kirby.

The company has also started to export, in small numbers, the petrol variant to Europe, Middle East and Africa since October.

“We will ramp-up exports to about 100 countries, including South Africa by October 2011 after meeting the domestic demand by scaling up the production to 200,000 units per annum,” said an official.

The company has already introduced a range of products, including the sports utility vehicle (SUV) X-Trail, luxury sedan Teana and sports car 370Z, which are imported from Japan as completely built units.

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