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Old 27th October 2009, 17:45   #1
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Default Official details: Nissan's small car for India (The V Platform)

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The small car segment is looking to hot up in the coming months. First it was the news of the Chevy Beat hitting the roads towards the end of this year, the Ford Figo was previewed last month and today Nissan revealed official details of its small car for India. The event took place at the Taj Mumbai with all the top guys from Nissan present to address the media. Team BHP was there to get a first hand report on Nissan's big small car plans for the country.

Nissan today presented what they call the 'V' Platform. The V platform will form the base for their new small car to be made in India. The car will be made at the Chennai plant which will be operational next year. Not only that but Nissan will be launching two additional models in addition to the small car as well. China and Thailand are the other two major countries where these cars will be made. While production in Thailand begins in March 2010, Chennai will start making cars in May 2010. So what is Nissan going to give us from the V platform? Read on.

Nissan claims that the strengths of its new car will be low cost, reduced weight and competitive pricing all over the world, not only India. From day one of production, India will see 80% localization while Thailand and China will see 80% and 90% respectively. Models include a small hatch, a three box saloon and a estate(similar to what we see with the Indica and Indigo). Out of the three cars so far only two have been confirmed for India. Engines will be 3 cylinder units,will comply with Euro 6 norms and will be tuned to country specific road conditions. Transmission options will include Manual, Automatic and CVT boxes.

Nissan plans weight reduction in the cars by using lesser parts for production. Let me explain how:

eg: If a conventional car's instrument panel uses 56 parts to assemble, Nissan will do that using only 27. Similarly if a seat uses 85 parts, the new car will use only 50 and so on.

Around 100 engineers from India, China and Thailand have been trained at Nissan's Global Product Engineering Centre (GPEC) for the new project. Mr Vincent Cobee the Program Director also mentioned that apart from the above mentioned countries, they are looking at setting up a manufacturing unit in the US as well and was confident that the new cars would pass the stringent US safety norms. He also added that the V platform was jointly developed by Nissan and Renault and that Renault would be free to use the same platform for the development of their vehicles.

After the conference we were given a sneak preview to pictures of the three upcoming models. While the small car picture was of the actual car, the other two were just sketches. Sorry no pictures since we were not allowed to take cameras or mobile phones inside the room. All I can for now that from what I saw, the small car does look promising. Lets wait and watch to see how it does once launched in May next year.
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Old 27th October 2009, 20:22   #2
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1) A nice coverge from TBHP. Nissan has been talking since long, but what are the firm steps ?

2) Here comes another problem. Suppose there a problem in particular place in dash, then if its made up of 87 parts its possible to replace one or two. But if its made up on 57 parts, then the parts will be bigger and even where replacement is not required, it will be replaced by default.

To get a better picture, think how 3 piece bumpers are more convenient to replace than a large single piece. In case of a three piece bumper if the side part is damaged, we need not change the entire bumper.
One classic example is G1HC i.e. OHC.

I prefer the OHC method as compared to what Nissan plans.

3) A three cylinder unit even for sedan ? I doubt that. They will have higher capacity units but they are not revealing at this point of time. 1.5D from Nissan-Renault may make it too.

4) Any statements of cost of spares ? This is where Maruti and Hyundai are very tough to beat.

5) A.S & S. network. First get this correct IMO. Xtra is a good product as compared to CR-V, but still CR-V has advantage despite being available only in petrol.

6) Is it that both hatch and sedan will hit the road in May 2010 ? Did they reveal the exact date when when cars actually hits the road ?
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Old 27th October 2009, 20:43   #3
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Nice piece of Information there Dippy.

I guess we might see something in Auto Expo if not earlier.

Nissan does have huge plans for India and I think they are doing the right thing by coming to India with a small car rather than an expensive one. As of right now they are only selling the Teanna and X Trail- right ?
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Old 27th October 2009, 21:30   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aaggoswami View Post
1)
4) Any statements of cost of spares ? This is where Maruti and Hyundai are very tough to beat.

5) A.S & S. network. First get this correct IMO. Xtra is a good product as compared to CR-V, but still CR-V has advantage despite being available only in petrol.

6) Is it that both hatch and sedan will hit the road in May 2010 ? Did they reveal the exact date when when cars actually hits the road ?
As far as spares is concerned, the Nissan guys did hint that they were up against India's very own manufacturer( I think Tata). Apart from that they didnt reveal much. I think things should be more clear towards the launch date.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vkochar
Nissan does have huge plans for India and I think they are doing the right thing by coming to India with a small car rather than an expensive one. As of right now they are only selling the Teanna and X Trail- right ?

Yes they do have big plans considering they plan to launch the 370Z early next year and will be offering anywhere between 8 to 9 models by 2012 and yese currently they sell only the Teana and the X Trail.

As told to us by Nissan, the small car will be launched first and will then be followed by the sedan . So the small car comes in May.

Last edited by Dippy : 27th October 2009 at 21:32.
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Old 27th October 2009, 22:19   #5
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Wow, will the small car also have CVT transmission?

If so
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Old 27th October 2009, 22:42   #6
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So this small car is smaller than and in addition to the Micra?

Right now they are buying small cars from Suzuki coz they dont have any.
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Old 27th October 2009, 22:52   #7
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Great info, Dippy

Good to see more international manufacturers taking India's car market seriously. I hope the indian manufacturers also learn from this.

Yummy, if the 370Z is also localized (a guy can dream, can't he?)
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Old 27th October 2009, 23:24   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dippy View Post
As far as spares is concerned, the Nissan guys did hint that they were up against India's very own manufacturer( I think Tata). Apart from that they didnt reveal much. I think things should be more clear towards the launch date.
Dippy, didn't quite catch what you meant here. Why would Nissan be up against Tata or any other manufacturer. Or did you mean they are benchmarking against Tata?
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Old 28th October 2009, 00:19   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dippy View Post
Attachment 216696

While the small car picture was of the actual car, the other two were just sketches.
the small car they showed was the micra, right? how is the sedan? looks similar to the sedan.. a boot paste on job?
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Old 28th October 2009, 11:56   #10
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Nice report, Dippy. Small cars make up 3/4th's of our market. And in recent times, at the cost of the C sedan segment! No wonder that any player who is serious about an Indian presence is going small.

Some parts of your report clearly tell me that cost of production is of paramount importance to Nissan. It should be, the sub 5 lakh segment is incredibly price sensitive. And even after you get the price right, it's an uphill task to meet the sheer distribution strength of the Big 3 (Maruti, Hyundai and Tata). We've seen the Chevy Beat + Ford Figo already, lets see what Nissan has in store.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dippy View Post
Not only that but Nissan will be launching two additional models in addition to the small car as well.
This will be a sedan and estate version of the same car?

Quote:
Nissan claims that the strengths of its new car will be low cost, reduced weight and competitive pricing all over the world
Nice, but easier said than done. Their parent company will tell them some (Logan debacle).

Quote:
Engines will be 3 cylinder units,will comply with Euro 6 norms and will be tuned to country specific road conditions. Transmission options will include Manual, Automatic and CVT boxes.
3 cylinder = cheap. I hope the actual price is competitive too.

Quote:
eg: If a conventional car's instrument panel uses 56 parts to assemble, Nissan will do that using only 27. Similarly if a seat uses 85 parts, the new car will use only 50 and so on.
Didn't the Logan also have a similar philosophy?

Quote:
3) A three cylinder unit even for sedan ? I doubt that.
Good point, Aaggoswami!

Quote:
Originally Posted by vkochar View Post
I guess we might see something in Auto Expo if not earlier.
I think so too! After all, the Thai debut (March '09) is only two months away from the Auto Expo.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gilead View Post
Dippy, didn't quite catch what you meant here. Why would Nissan be up against Tata or any other manufacturer. Or did you mean they are benchmarking against Tata?
Yup, I think its benchmarking on value. Again, easier said than done.
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Old 28th October 2009, 15:17   #11
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A major strength that the likes of Nissan have is the fact that the small car model to be made in India is to be exported globally, this will give them huge economies of scale. The global sales and market penetration of a player like Nissan would be a struggle for Suzuki to match, let alone Tata.
I think nowadays car makers add and subtract a cylinder to the engine to get more variants, earlier they used to have different bores for the same engine bloc, eg. Suzuki has the 1.0 for the Zen and the 1.3 for the Esteem, they both used the same engine block but different bores. Honda did the same with the 1.3 and 1,5 variants of the first gen, City.
Now the focus is to to play around with cylinder nos. So perhaps a 3 cyl. 1.2 unit can be turned into a 1.6 unit by adding one more cyl. and making it 4 cyl.
They save money by using similar components like sleeves, pistons, piston rings, valves etc.
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Old 28th October 2009, 16:10   #12
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If they are planning sedan and Estate on the same platform, then I guess its a case of yet another more manufacturer eyeing the "swift, punto, polo" league (B+).
Looks like Everyone from Toyota to Mahindra (Sandero) will have a car in this segment by 2011.
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Old 29th October 2009, 00:16   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dippy View Post
Attachment 216696


Nissan claims that the strengths of its new car will be low cost, reduced weight and competitive pricing all over the world, not only India.
Nissan plans weight reduction in the cars by using lesser parts for production. Let me explain how:

eg: If a conventional car's instrument panel uses 56 parts to assemble, Nissan will do that using only 27. Similarly if a seat uses 85 parts, the new car will use only 50 and so on.
I sincerely hope that they stay up to these words. I remember Renault giving a pre launch gyan like this --> Our cars will have simple designs (read as not too many curves) so that the tools are simple and there would be too little rejections in stamping or whatever and all this translates to low cost.

Indians are simple man. Promise them that you'll offer VFM Car and deliver the same with ample sales support, the market won't let the car down.

Neverthless 2010 is the Year of Small Cars in India I guess
VW Polo
Ford Figo
Chevy Beat
Nissan Micra

Last edited by kiku007 : 29th October 2009 at 00:19.
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Old 29th October 2009, 09:43   #14
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The new Nissan small car digitally illustrated, almost close to real.Pics courtesy auto express.
Dippy, did the car look close to this?
Attached Thumbnails
Official details: Nissan's small car for India (The V Platform)-01.jpg  

Official details: Nissan's small car for India (The V Platform)-02.jpg  

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Old 29th October 2009, 09:50   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gilead View Post
Dippy, didn't quite catch what you meant here. Why would Nissan be up against Tata or any other manufacturer. Or did you mean they are benchmarking against Tata?
They didnt mention the name Tata. But I guessed it would be Tata when they said "We are looking to compete against your own manufacturer"

Quote:
Originally Posted by ashutoshb View Post
the small car they showed was the micra, right? how is the sedan? looks similar to the sedan.. a boot paste on job?
Unfortunately we were only shown a rough sketch of the sedan but didnt look like boot paste job.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sidindica View Post
The new Nissan small car digitally illustrated, almost close to real.Pics courtesy auto express.
Dippy, did the car look close to this?
Similar but smaller than this.


@GTO: From the presentation it seemed like a sedan and estate version of the same car. The platform is going to be the same.

Last edited by Dippy : 29th October 2009 at 10:05.
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