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Nissan India arm to focus on premium, connected cars in strategy shift

Nissan Motor Co. Ltd.'s Indian arm plans to strengthen its premium brand appeal while building on the company's position in the electrified and connected cars space, the Japanese carmaker said in a Sept. 6 release.

Under its redrawn strategy for premium and connected cars, Nissan Motor India Private Ltd will shift its focus on SUVs, beginning with the Kicks SUV in 2019, and expand its global digital hub in Kerala by hiring 500 employees within 2018.

Nissan added that it aims to build a strong lineup of Datsun vehicles that focuses on progressive mobility, "offering value, connectivity and Japanese engineering" across all segments, as part of its comprehensive restructuring plan.

The company, which sells Terrano SUVs, Micra superminis and Sunny sedan cars in India, also said it will double its sales and service network from the current 270 car dealerships over the next three years and upgrade its Chennai design center.

Nissan also plans to further leverage its alliance with fellow carmakers Renault SA and Mitsubishi Motors Corp. by optimizing opportunities for transfer and advancement, training for next-generation car manufacturing and reinforcing career flexibility within the alliance.

The companies also plan to reduce complexity through greater use of common platforms and hire 1,000 additional engineers for Renault Nissan Technology and Business Centre India Private Ltd, reinforcing the alliance's foothold in the country.

"In the coming years in India we will grow and our workforce will shift towards highly skilled jobs to lead the technological changes coming to the auto industry in India," said Peyman Kargar, senior vice president and chairman of Nissan in Africa, the Middle East and India.