Nissan eyes entry level with Micra Active

A T Subrahmanya | Interviews | July 9, 2013
Nissan eyes entry level with Micra Active

Japanese auto maker Nissan is aggressive on its India plans with several new models and refreshes to its line-up for the local market.  In a bid to gain more entry level consumers in the small car market, Nissan recently launched Micra Active along with refreshed new Micra.

Nissan says that Micra has a heritage spanning more than 30 years and the global sales of Micra, also known as March in many countries, exceeds 6.5 million units. New Micra now also offers Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) gearbox.

Nissan has stated that the overall length of Micra has increased by 45mm to 3825mm. The car now gets a sculpted bonnet and front bumper with signature V-shaped chrome grille. Front fog lamps with a thick chrome finish add to the premium appeal. The rear too gets a redesigned bumper with a lip finisher and bright LED tail lamps as well as high mounted LED stop lamp.

WheelsUnplugged caught up with Sunil Madalla, VP Sales, Hover Automotive India Pvt. Ltd, the India sales unit at the launch of New Nissan Micra in Bangalore.

Edited excerpts:

Why Micra Active?

The idea is to differentiate the brand. Micra Active is targeted at the B-segment competing against the likes of Maruti WagonR, Hyundai i10 and Chevrolet Beat and Micra is targeted at B+ segment competing against premium hatchbacks. To clearly differentiate the segments, we have introduced the two variants. Micra Active is typically targeted at the first time users.

Any plans for the export markets?

We are National Sales Company (NSC), so we won’t be able to talk about exports.

Last year you did sales of 37,000 units. Now you have announced that you are projecting one lakh units’ sales this fiscal. How do you plan to achieve that?

One of our ways is to compete in the new segment.  This (B segment) was the largest segment with sales of over 9 lakh units. We were not present in that segment and we have now rectified that with Micra Active.  We have also come up with CVT which is a new segment again. We have enhanced the image of Micra in the B+ segment which is going to give us incremental volumes. We are going to come up with new models during the fourth quarter.

As it is known that UV segment is one of the fastest growing last year, there is already news of a refresh of Nissan Evalia, when is it going to come out? And also With Ford EcoSport making headlines, how difficult will it be for Nissan Terrano Compact SUV coming later this year?

Yes, but we will not be able to talk about that now.

This one lakh unit projection will also include Datsun brand?

We are having the world premiere this month and we have no clarity as of now about the numbers and other details.

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