February 10, 2006

Nissan plans microcar for emerging markets

Tokyo, Japan – Nissan plans to develop a low-priced global vehicle with an engine displacement of about one litre, targeted at China, India and other emerging markets, according to a report in the Green Car Congress.

The company will reportedly spend more than US$843 million to produce about 600,000 units a year by 2009, which is nearly 20 per cent of its global sales. The car will be among the smallest developed by Nissan and will likely sell for around US$10,000.

In China, affiliate Dongfeng Nissan Passenger Vehicle Company will add a production line capable of 100,000 versions of the car each year, while in India and Brazil, Nissan is considering using excess capacity at plants operated by Renault SA, its largest shareholder. The vehicle will also be produced in Eastern Europe.

In 2004, 10.17 million vehicles were produced in Brazil, China, India and Russia, and Nissan lags behind Toyota, Honda and Suzuki in these four markets for units sold.

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