Renault-Nissan eye Indian plant

2013-02-22 10:24

TOKYO, Japan - Franco-Japanese auto partners Renault-Nissan will invest the equivalent of about R2.8-billion to expand a complex in India as it chases demand for low-cost vehicles in emerging markets.

The auto giants will spend 30 billion yen (R2.8-billion) to build a second plant at the site near southern Chennai city that will be able to produce 200 000 units annually by the end of 2014, Japan's Nikkei business daily said. Daimler, in a deal with Renault-Nissan for 2016, also has a new factory in Chennai.

The facility already has an output capacity of 400 000 units a year.


The new plant will produce Nissan's Datsun brand and economy Renault models that are under development, the Nikkei said.

Nissan announced in 2012 that it would revive its discontinued Datsun brand to meet demand for affordable cars in emerging markets, with the Nikkei reporting that two new models would initially be priced around 500 000 yen (R47 600).

The automaker declined to confirm the report. A company spokesman said: "We have a project to produce low-priced vehicles in our existing Renault-Nissan joint plant, but we cannot comment further".

The report comes several months after Nissan chief executive Carlos Ghosn said he would think twice before making new investments in China, the world's biggest vehicle market, after Japan-brand auto sales tumbled on the back of a territorial row between Tokyo and Beijing.