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Renault-Nissan Alliance Revs Up in India

July 25 – Chennai – The Renault-Nissan Alliance provided a unique insight into its Indian operations in July, with the launch of a brand, a second vehicle from partner Ashok Leyland, and plans for a new production architecture.

CEO Carlos Ghosn in Chennai

The flurry of activity comes as Renault and Nissan aim to dramatically raise their combined market share from today’s 5%.

“With all the products we’re bring and the investment we’re making, we’re going to be looking for 15% market share in a few years,” said CEO Carlos Ghosn at a special media event in Chennai.

“There’s no way that anybody – and anybody in the car industry – industry can be bearish on India.”

The return of Datsun is vital for growth ahead in India, with the brand slated to account for as much as half of Nissan Motor Company sales in the nation by 2016.

Chennai-based LCV maker Ashok Leyland is also building momentum with the July 16 unveiling of the Stile, a multi-purpose vehicle developed jointly with Nissan.

Built at the Alliance plant in Chennai, the Stile follows the huge success of the Dost truck, opening previously unattainable segments of the Indian market.

The Ashok Leyland Stile is unveiled

“We’ve found a good partner,” said G. P. Hinduja, Co-Chairman of Hinduja Group, Ashok Leyland’s parent.

“They benefit from us. We benefit from them. It’s a win-win situation. We give them frugality. We give them innovation.”

Continued investment in people, plants and research at facilities in India – already home to 12,000 Alliance employees — will underpin growth.

Increased localization will spur efficiency, while a new modular production system will be introduced at the Chennai plant from 2015.

The system, called CMF-A, will help Alliance engineers develop products specific to Indian customer needs, essential in what may become one of the world’s largest auto markets.

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