Thursday, June 21, 2007

Nissan's $3000 car may roll out from its Indian plant

While Ghosn may have plans to sell the $3,000 (Rs 1,22,000) car globally , the first vehicle could roll out of a plant near Chennai that is being built by Nissan Renault and M&M.

But the first budget car to hit the roads is expected to be the 'Rs 1 lakh' Tata car, which is already being tested and slated to be launched in the second half of 2008 from manufacturing facility at Singur.

Targeted at first-time buyers, who have so far been riding two-wheelers, these vehicles are expected to come fitted with engines with a capacity ranging between Hero's 500cc and Tata's 700 cc. While Bajaj is likely to unveil its offering at the 2008 Auto Expo in Delhi, Maruti's launch is expected by the end of 2008 and Nissan Renault will take about three years to roll out its $3000 car.

Munjals of Hero group are only expected to drive into the four-wheeler market once the Tata car is on road. The Suzuki-designed vehicle will be a geared, front-wheel driven car, while the Tata car could also have an ungeared (continuous variable transmission) variant with engine at the back powering the rear wheels.

"With the rising number of such cars in the offing, the industry is acknowledging the fact that growth in the Indian automobile industry will only come from entry-level cars and not the bigger ones," says an auto analyst.

But forget about air-conditioning and any frills in case you opt to buy one of the sub-1.5 lakh cars. The entry-level model will be a strip down version, though auto experts believe that there will be variants with a few comforts thrown in.

While all this might be music to the ears, the bad news is that companies expect the value of used cars to dip.

Source:- timesofindia.indiatimes