Nissan Motor Co. will join the vastly competitive small car market in India in July and will then also begin to export cars from the country with hopes of establishing an international manufacturing hub.
“We are well on track to open the new factory in March,” Production will start in May and the first hatchback on the V platform will be sold from July,” Kiminobu Tokuyama, the Nissan Motors India managing director, told Dow Jones Newswires.
Annual auto sales are expected to triple in India by 2016. Two-thirds of the cars sold will be small cars. Nissan will join Ford Motor Co., General Motors Co. and Toyota Motor Co. in the assault for part of the share of the small-car market.
Suzuki Motor Co. currently sells more than half of the cars in India.
Tata Motors, which now has its Tata Nano available only in India as the world’s cheapest car, has already capitalized on the growing need for small, inexpensive cars.
“We see the Indian market as a growing market and we are very much focused on this market. At this moment, it is the most important market for Nissan after Russia and China,” Tokuyama said.
Nissan plans to sell nine models in India by 2012, five made in India. Nissan also hopes to secure a 5.5 percent of the car market in India.