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Old 26th September 2013, 09:53   #1
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Default Rumour: Ashok Leyland considering Nissan NV350 Caravan for India?

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Indian commercial vehicle giant Ashok Leyland and Japanese automaker Nissan are in a collaboration to build small commercial vehicles targeting the market here. Products such as the Nissan Dost mini pick up truck and the soon-to-be-launched Stile MPV have been spawned out of this collaboration. Taking this collaboration further, Ashok Leyland plans to introduce the Partner 6 ton mini truck, a rebadged Nissan Cabstar, in the coming months.

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Mr. Rohin Nagrani, a senior editor at Motoring has tweeted that Ashok Leyland could launch the Nissan NV350 Caravan multipurpose van here. The NV350 Caravan is a 16 seater that measures over 5 meters in length and that weighs close to 2.2 tons. Popular in many parts of South East Asia including Nissan's home market of Japan, the NV350 Caravan comes in two body styles: Regular and Wide Body. Both passenger and goods carrying variants of the NV350 Caravan are available.

Rumour: Ashok Leyland considering Nissan NV350 Caravan for India?-2013-nissan-nv350-caravan-2.jpg

The NV350 Caravan sold internationally features petrol and turbo diesel engine options. For the diesel-favouring Indian market, the 2.5 liter YD25DDTi turbo diesel engine with common rail direct injection seems a likely choice. This engine outputs 129 PS of peak power and 356 Nm of peak torque. Both two wheel drive and four wheel drive options are available for the Japanese market. Torque transmission is by means of a 5 speed manual gearbox. The gear shifter is mounted on the dashboard, a-la-Evalia.

Rumour: Ashok Leyland considering Nissan NV350 Caravan for India?-2013-nissan-nv350-caravan-3.jpg

Given its positioning as a van for both passenger and cargo uses, sliding doors are standard. The NV350 Caravan sold internationally features ABS+EBD and air conditioning vents for all four rows of seats. The van also gets an Evalia-like instrument-cluster mounted gear shift indicator that notifies the driver to upshift in the interests of maximizing fuel efficiency. The van also features a crumple zone to boost crash safety.

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Last edited by JayPrashanth : 26th September 2013 at 09:54. Reason: News Link Added
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Old 26th September 2013, 11:01   #2
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Link to News Section

Indian commercial vehicle giant Ashok Leyland and Japanese automaker Nissan are in a collaboration to build small commercial vehicles targeting the market here. Products such as the Nissan Dost mini pick up truck and the soon-to-be-launched Stile MPV have been spawned out of this collaboration. Taking this collaboration further, Ashok Leyland plans to introduce the Partner 6 ton mini truck, a rebadged Nissan Cabstar, in the coming months.

Mr. Rohin Nagrani, a senior editor at Motoring has tweeted that Ashok Leyland could launch the Nissan NV350 Caravan multipurpose van here. The NV350 Caravan is a 16 seater that measures over 5 meters in length and that weighs close to 2.2 tons.

This looks cool for a van. Bring it on, Ashok Leyland & Nissan! This could become the ideal airport taxi, luxury tourist van, corporate pick-up-and-drop vehicle, ambulance etc.

It's likely to be sold only in 2wd guise with the diesel engine, may be a petrol engine with CNG kit too. Of course, the interiors will not get the touch screen music system etc. We will be lucky to get ABS & airbags.

The only vehicle like this we had in India was the Mercedes-Benz MB van that was sold here for sometime. It was expensive for what it offered back then and didn't do too well. But the market has matured since then and this might have significant potential now. It may be more expensive than the Tata Winger, but it would be light years ahead of Tata's hand-me-down Renault Trafic van with the archaic 483DL TCIC engine and would be in a different segment, positioned above the Stile/Evalia.

Last edited by RSR : 26th September 2013 at 11:10.
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Old 26th September 2013, 11:46   #3
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Default Re: Rumour: Ashok Leyland considering Nissan NV350 Caravan for India?

Looks like Nissan borrowed the steering wheel featured here for the Terrano!

I guess if this van is introduced, the Tata Winger and the Tempo Traveller will get some serious competition.

I can see this product offering opportunity to convert into an RV as well.
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Old 26th September 2013, 11:55   #4
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Default Re: Rumour: Ashok Leyland considering Nissan NV350 Caravan for India?

It will definitely be good competition for the Winger and the Traveller.

But the idea will be how well can Nissan reduce the cost of the NV350 and make it suitable for production in India. Of course if they have plans of exporting this from India like with the NV200/Evalia/Stile, then that should help with keeping costs down.

But without export volumes, I doubt Nissan will be able to keep costs down enough to compete with the Winger and Traveller. Domestic sales in India for such a vehicle is not exactly very large right now.
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Old 26th September 2013, 17:06   #5
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Default Re: Rumour: Ashok Leyland considering Nissan NV350 Caravan for India?

The vehicle looks promising and would be a good business case for both Ashok Leyland and Nissan. Currently there are not much products available in this segment except Force Traveller, Tata Winger and Mahindra Tourister. For Ashok Leyland, they should explore alternative routes like this stay afloat.
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Old 26th September 2013, 17:15   #6
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Default Re: Rumour: Ashok Leyland considering Nissan NV350 Caravan for India?

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For Ashok Leyland, they should explore alternative routes like this stay afloat.
I dont know how much Leyland will gain monetarily from introducing products like the Stile and NV350, since practically everything is being done by Nissan.
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Old 26th September 2013, 17:40   #7
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Default Re: Rumour: Ashok Leyland considering Nissan NV350 Caravan for India?

Is safety not important for these vehicles? This is just like our Omni just bigger with the front seats being dangerous if driven on highways.
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Old 26th September 2013, 17:54   #8
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Default Re: Rumour: Ashok Leyland considering Nissan NV350 Caravan for India?

Cab Forward designs may not be unsafe per se. In case of frontal collisions chances of fatality increase irrespective of the fact whether there is an engine between the driver and the bogey. But yes it would definitely be more crushing. So leaving the bad thoughts on the sides, the van looks promising but what would be its mod-ability to convert it into a proper caravan with bunk beds and a moving kitchenette? With the engine I am sure it would be possible to lug all that weight comfortably even on gradients.
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Old 26th September 2013, 18:16   #9
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Default Re: Rumour: Ashok Leyland considering Nissan NV350 Caravan for India?

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With the engine I am sure it would be possible to lug all that weight comfortably even on gradients.
Funny that you said that. I was thinking about that engine as well but in a diametrically opposite direction. With such heavy load onboard, an engine with just 129 PS on the tap and a size of 2.5 liter it should actually be rather sluggish! For a comparision, modern SUVs run a 2.25 liter or higher spec engines in this country with close to 140PS on the tap. Yes, 345 NM may be ok to lug around that load but thats about it, IMO.
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Old 26th September 2013, 19:12   #10
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Default Re: Rumour: Ashok Leyland considering Nissan NV350 Caravan for India?

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Funny that you said that. I was thinking about that engine as well but in a diametrically opposite direction. With such heavy load onboard, an engine with just 129 PS on the tap and a size of 2.5 liter it should actually be rather sluggish! For a comparision, modern SUVs run a 2.25 liter or higher spec engines in this country with close to 140PS on the tap. Yes, 345 NM may be ok to lug around that load but thats about it, IMO.
Exactly, for the purpose I was looking at that engine, torque would take precedence over sprint capabilities. As long as it pulls itself around with reasonable agility it should satisfy the user, I think.
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Old 26th September 2013, 20:54   #11
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Default Re: Rumour: Ashok Leyland considering Nissan NV350 Caravan for India?

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I dont know how much Leyland will gain monetarily from introducing products like the Stile and NV350, since practically everything is being done by Nissan.
True. But we need to see the long term benefit of a movement like this one. Ashok Leyland is well placed in commercial vehicle segment. I meant by the exposure and dealer network. So they can easily make a product like this one highly successful. Also Ashok Leyland can easily gain technical know how by such an alliance.
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Old 26th September 2013, 21:14   #12
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Default Re: Rumour: Ashok Leyland considering Nissan NV350 Caravan for India?

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Originally Posted by MaxTorque View Post
True. But we need to see the long term benefit of a movement like this one. Ashok Leyland is well placed in commercial vehicle segment. I meant by the exposure and dealer network. So they can easily make a product like this one highly successful. Also Ashok Leyland can easily gain technical know how by such an alliance.
Actually, Ashok Leyland's small commercial vehicle dealership network is pretty miniscule. They are not even present in all the states yet, let alone match the extensive network that Tata Motors has.

As for gaining of technical knowledge, we dont know to what extent that is happening. The biggest hurdle in this regard is the fact that even if this van comes to India, just like the Stile it will most likely be manufactured at the Renault-Nissan plant and not at a Leyland facility. Neither do we know how much input Ashok Leyland has in adapting products like the Stile or the Caravan in future to suit Indian requirements.
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Old 26th September 2013, 21:44   #13
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Neither do we know how much input Ashok Leyland has in adapting products like the Stile or the Caravan in future to suit Indian requirements.
Mate we are going off topic. We can wait till further details are available. In my opinion Renault-Nissan plant may not be capable to build a 5.0mtr long vehicle. So the alternate choice available is the plant which rolls out Dost range.

Associating with an experienced player will directly or indirectly contribute domestic player's functioning. We have live examples of Tata and Mahindra and Mahindra. Tata Motors was painting body shells of Mercedes C-Class and E-Class for long time and they gained knowledge from Germans and implemented the same on rest of their product range. Similarly Mahindra also got lots of inputs from Ford, Mitsubishi, Renault and Navistar etc.
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Old 26th September 2013, 22:08   #14
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Default Re: Rumour: Ashok Leyland considering Nissan NV350 Caravan for India?

In my 8th grade (year- '06) i used to go to school in a nissan urvan/caravan the same as shown here. It was a wonderful van powered by the 2.5L petrol engine. The arab drivers school had saw to it that it had a wheel spin in the first gear at every signal. I found it better than the Toyota Hiace when it came to comfort. I guess in '08 when we were in India for vacation me and my brother were in Colaba where we saw a LHD urvan, I guess it was running on Dubai plates( not sure about the reg. though).
If Leyland brings it here and prices it well i am sure the traveller and winger are going to have a tough competition. But looking at the Evalia i doubt their pricing would be that good.
Anyway lets hope for the best
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Old 1st October 2013, 10:21   #15
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Default Re: Rumour: Ashok Leyland considering Nissan NV350 Caravan for India?

Well, they had to reduce cost one way or the other and thus Leyland seem to be taking an approach similar to Tata. They are probably going to bring in the last generation Nissan Caravan/Urvan/NV350. They will probably bring in the old machines used to manufacture it and set them up in India, thus reducing manufacturing cost. I expect they will also slot in the existing Renault Nisaan K9 diesel engine, though in a higher state of tune, probably the 110PS one used in the Fluence/Terrano/Duster. These two measure should help keep costs down allowing it to compete with the Winger and the Traveller.

Source: http://indianautosblog.com/2013/10/n...ia-spied-98710
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