January 11, 2012
Designs on India
Q1. What do you make of the Delhi Auto Expo, where Nissan is making a first-ever appearance?
As you said, this is the first time for Nissan to make an appearance at the Delhi auto show. This is very important because we’re expecting a much bigger presence in the India market and we have started almost two years ago with Micra sales. We now have Sunny and we have Evalia. So we have three strong products that are produced in India. We are becoming a serious, major player.
Having the Nissan stand like this, we have a good space and — as you can see — lots of people visiting. To show our Nissan brand here in India, to have more people here by participating at the motor show is very, very important and this is the start of our future growth.
Two years later, we’ll come back with future products here and we will see a big volume increase and, by 2016, we’re aiming for 5% volume, which is four times bigger than today.
Q2. In India, how do you balance the need for practicality and value-for-money with exciting designs?
In India, people are looking for a reasonable and less-expensive car with high quality, robustness and, of course, [they must be] good looking. Everywhere in the world people want to have a good-looking car. So we have to be very practical, be cost effective but, at the same time, we cannot compromise any design appeal.
The Micra is actually very well-received in India. We have got very strong customer-satisfaction data where people prefer and very much like the exterior design, functionality and also innovative specifications such asintelligent key.
Then you see the Sunny, which is very roomy and at the same time has a very good design. It was also very well received, winning an award from a very famous Indian magazine. So actually we are balancing practicality and cost efficiency with good design in India.
Evalia, too, is very roomy and probably the roomiest MPV in this market. At the same time, the design has a very strong appeal. I don’t think we compromise design appeal for the Indian market. That’s true for any market in the world.
Q3. As a designer, what inspiration can you take from India?
This is my second visit to India and it’s always very fascinating to see a new culture and how people behave and the mix of traditional culture and new culture.
I always get inspiration coming to a new place that I’ve never been. It gives me a lot of input about what design should be. To me, it’s learning what kind of design can be popular and looking at current vehicles and new vehicles coming in. To me, it’s very valuable — and not just to me — but to people who really want to create a car. To appeal to the customer, you have to come and see the customer.