Nissan To Invade Low-Cost Auto Market

The Nissan Motor Co., Japan’s third-largest auto manufacturer, is designing a $2,500 car to compete in India with the low-cost model planned by the Tata Motors Ltd, Chief Executive Officer Carlos Ghosn said. “We are working on how we can make a car for $2,500,” Ghosn told reporters at a dinner in Versailles, France. A Nissan advance engineering group is doing the study, he added.

Automakers are moving quickly to trail Renault SA’s footsteps by offering cheaper models for the fast growing markets in Asia, the Middle East and South America. The second-largest automaker in France that owns 44 percent of Nissan will be rolling out its no-frills Logan sedan in Argentina, Brazil, India and Iran. Ghosn heads both Renault and Nissan. Tata, India’s third-biggest car maker, plans to sell a car priced at about $2,500 by the year 2008.

According to government estimates, pg slot auto India’s car market may triple to 3mn vehicles a year by 2015. “In India one competitor has announced a car for next year at $2,500,” Ghosn said. “I take that challenge very seriously.” The Nissan CEO already had said in April that the company intends to sell cars in India for less than $3,000.

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The Japanese automaker seeks to win business from auto rivals including the Suzuki Motor Corp, whose Maruti Udyog Ltd unit commands a 50 percent market share in India. The Nissan Motor India Private, Ltd also contributes towards social activities with all the employees. The company distributes uniforms and stationeries to schools affected by the recent floods in Mumbai.

“If you ask any car manufacturer if they can make money on a car that costs $2,500, the answer is always going to be no,” Ghosn noted. “Until somebody does it.” The Tokyo-based automaker said April 26 that its profit decline 46 percent to 82.2bn yen in the quarter ending March 31 on weak American sales.

In connection with Nissan’s struggle to alleviate its sales, it will be introducing its next-generation Maxima, which is said to be a true 4DSC (short for 4-Door Sports Car). The new vehicle is not only equipped with the peculiar Nissan clutch master cylinder. This is because the automaker’s pool of engineers has made the new Maxima more mature and luxurious.

A Nissan insider described the new vehicle as, “Unlike anything we’ve ever done before.” The new Maxima will be more aggressive than ever and will flaunt a coupe-like shape, likened to the Mercedes-Benz CLS. The car will also slot from the Z and the upcoming GT-R to strengthen links to the performance machines. Aside from the legendary VQ-series engine, the new Maxima will also feature Nissan’s brand new Alliance turbodiesel engine.

The automaker is sending the new Maxima with high hopes. Its striking performance and affordable price could put it back on track. The bolder and high-performance Nissan Altima is set to arrive in 2009.

Nissan will also be releasing the 2007 model year 350Z in Australia. The vehicle is equipped with a more powerful, next-generation engine, revised exterior styling and new exterior color palette. At the heart of the 2007 model year 350Z is Nissan’s award winning next generation engine – the designated VQ35HR.

Nissan Australia’s managing director and chief executive officer, Shinya Hannya, commented on the update to the company’s halo model in the range: “The changes are designed to not only improve on the performance of the 350Z but build on its reputation as one of our best performance sports car.”

Separately, the Japanese automaker is happy to announce that its hybrid may continue to claim the Alternative Motor Vehicle Credit. This fact is attested by the Internal Revenue Service. The said announcement came after the IRS concluded its quarterly review of the number of hybrid vehicles sold.