In order to strengthen their India operations, Renault and Nissan today announced a joint investment of USD 600 million (Rs 4,961 crore) in the country for introducing six new models, including four sport utility vehicles (SUVs) and two electric vehicles (EVs), enhancing production and R&D activities, and transitioning to carbon-neutral manufacturing.
As part of the new investment, both companies will launch three models each. While the SUVs will be positioned in the C-segment, the EVs will enter the A-segment. The two EVs, which will be completely new, will be the maiden electric models for Renault and Nissan in India.
To be built on common Alliance platforms and at the same time retain the individual brand identities, the six models will cater to domestic as well as international markets. All the vehicles will be manufactured at the Renault Nissan Automotive India factory in Chennai.
During a virtual press meet, Nissan Motor Corporation Chief Operating Officer Ashwani Gupta said that the first of the six models will be introduced in India in 2025.
Nissan sells merely two models — Magnite and Kicks — in India at present. However, the Kicks reportedly will not be upgraded to comply with the stringent real driving emission (RDE) norms, which kick in from April 1, and will be discontinued. On the other hand, Renault offers only three models – Kwid, Triber and Kiger.
Today, Nissan is covering just 15% of the passenger vehicle (PV) market via the Magnite, Gupta said, adding that if we get into the C-segment and the A-segment, we will more than double our market coverage.
“The C-segment and the A-segment are the fastest-growing markets in India. That is why we decided to invest in C-segment SUVs. Also, 70% of Nissan’s sales from around the world come from SUVs, which have been our strength,” he pointed out.
Renault and Nissan will also realign their shareholding in the joint operations at Renault Nissan Automotive India Pvt Ltd (RNAIPL) and Renault Nissan Technology and Business Centre India (RNTBCI), in line with the global Alliance restructuring announced last week.
From 70% Nissan and 30% Renault, RNAIPL will move to ownership of 51% Nissan and 49% Renault, Gupta said. Besides, RNTBCI, which is 30% Nissan and 70% Renault, will be 51% Renault and 49% Nissan, he added.
“This equal partnership will help us in unleashing all the potential in the future,” he said.
With the new investment, an additional 2,000 jobs will be created at RNTBCI, which is located in Chennai. The RNAIPL plant is also aiming to become carbon neutral by 2045. At present, it gets over 50% of its electricity from renewable sources, including solar, biomass and wind.
“This investment (USD 600 million) is purely for the six cars and some of the modernisation we will do in our plant for utilising it to 80% for local as well as export volumes,” Gupta said.
Although Nissan’s domestic volumes have slipped 12.56% to 28,167 units in April-January FY23 from 32,215 units in April-January FY22, its exports have jumped 65.98% to 49,496 units in April-January FY23 from 29,821 units in April-January FY22.