Nissan today called members of the media and briefed them on the V-Platform, the architecture that Nissan’s Micra will be based on. No photographs were allowed inside the screening room. The details discussed follows.
New generation Micra or March will come in three forms – hatchback, sedan, compact/mini MPV
V platform is a global platform. It is developed to serve customers in India and overseas
A 3 cylinder gasoline engine will be offered on the Micra
There was no details divulged on the diesel variant, but it is in the works
Both manual and automatic variants will be developed in both RHD and LHD combination
The V platform was developed in Japan starting 2005
Micra will be launched in Thailand first in March 2009
Micra India launch will happen in May 2009
In 2011, the sedan variant will be launched
In 2012, depending on the market study, the MPV will or will not be launched locally
The car will also be manufactured in Thailand and China
Weight of the car has been kept at minimum — small fuel tank, light weight body and plastics replace steel at various points
till the expected volumes are reached, Nissan will source powertrains from Japan
An assembly line for powertrains will be sanctioned only after certain level of volume is reached
80% of the Micra will be localized to start with
Nissan claims their 3 cylinder petrol engine will be “40% more fuel efficient”
Renault has given vendor base to Nissan. Nissan has offered the V-platform to Renault, it can develop its models if desired.
Nissan Unveils New Platform of Cheap, Light Cars for India
It has become a vexing, billion-dollar question for the world’s automakers: How do you build small, cheap cars profitably?
More people across the world are buying small cars, and as demand in the U.S. and Western Europe withers, carmakers are vying for consumers on the narrow, hot and crowded streets of India, China and South Africa.
Serving this burgeoning group of new car buyers requires a fundamental revision of the way cars are designed, manufactured and sold, executives say.
Ask Nissan Motor Co., Japan’s third-largest automaker.
The company plans to launch a new small car platform — dubbed “V” for versatility — in Thailand, India, and China starting in March.
In the works since 2005, the cars are the first Nissan is launching in the developing world.
“Europe can wait. India cannot,” Vincent Cobee, who oversees the V car platform globally, told reporters in Mumbai on Tuesday.
Nissan’s engineers say the keys to success are keeping the car’s weight down and sourcing 80 to 90 percent of parts locally. Massive global sales and cheap, globally integrated manufacturing are also crucial to profitability.
Simplifying helps too: The new V cars will have 18 percent fewer parts than Nissan’s current compacts. The front seats, for example, will have 50 pieces instead of 85.
Think of it as the Nano-fication of carmaking. India’s Tata Motors took these design principles to an extreme earlier this year, with the launch of the stripped-down, pint-sized Nano, which sells in India for as little as 100,000 rupees ($2,146) plus tax and transport costs.
It’s unclear, however, how much money Tata is making on its ultra-cheap base model. Company executives won’t say. But the low sticker price — Tata has billed the Nano as the world’s cheapest car — has captured headlines, helping fuel demand, and Tata Motors has only guaranteed the 100,000 rupee price for its first batch of customers.
By 2013, Nissan hopes to be selling a million “V” cars a year. Last fiscal year, Nissan sold 3.4 million vehicles globally. After the V hatchback hits the streets in 2010, Nissan plans to unveil a sedan in 2011 and a compact multipurpose vehicle.
Nissan said it would use its factory in Chennai, in southern India, to produce cars for export to Europe, and its factory outside Bangkok, in Thailand, for exporting cars across Asia, including Japan. Cars made in China will be sold in China.
Nissan is expanding aggressively in all three countries. It recently pledged more than 5 million Thai baht ($150,000) to expand its capacity in Thailand to 200,000 units a year.
It is spending 5 billion yuan ($733 million) to increase capacity in China from 460,000 to 700,000 units a year.
With partner Renault, Nissan is investing 45 billion rupees ($966 million) in India to build capacity of 400,000 vehicles a year.
Executives also said they plan to sell the V cars in the United States in 2011, with a manufacturing base somewhere in the Americas.