Nissan has begun exports of the Micra from India to markets in Europe beginning with a consignment of nearly 4,000 vehicles produced at its Orangadam plant in Chennai from the adjacent port of Ennore. The company’s Indian division – Nissan Motor India – has further plans to export more than 110,000 units of the compact hatchback in fiscal year 2010-11 to Europe, the Middle East and Africa in 2011.
The start of shipments from Ennore makes Nissan one of the first companies to use the eastern gateway port as an export base, which is 20km from its plant. The carmaker signed a MoU with Ennore Port in 2008 to export its vehicles to various countries and the port is providing a special berth space of 140,000m2 for storage of the vehicles of which Nissan has been given priority use.
The first consignment of vehicles was shipped by Nissan Motor Car Carrier, a company jointly owned by Nissan, Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL) and Höegh Autoliners. Mitsui’s subsidiary MOL Auto Logistics (India) was also responsible for the inland shipment of the vehicles from the Orangadam plant, jointly set up with Renault as part of the Alliance, to the port of Ennore. Compound management and loading at the port was handled by Ennore Automotive Logistics, a joint venture between Mitsui and Sical Logistics.
Speaking at an ceremony to mark the start of exports, Kiminobu Tokuyama, managing director and CEO of Nissan India said: “It is a defining moment for all of us at Nissan in India as we begin a new chapter of business through the start of exports today. This milestone completes our vision of making the Chennai plant a strategic hub for both the domestic market as well as for exports.”
The first consignment follows a trial shipment of vehicles from the plant via Ennore to Barcelona in April this year.
In terms of domestic sales in India Nissan has moved more than 3,000 units of the Micra since its release in July, with 4,500 bookings made. The delivery period is currently around two months but the company is aiming to reduce this as it ramps up production at the Orangadam plant and expands its dealer network in the country.
Pictured from l to r: capt D K Mohanty, Director –Marine Services, Ennore Port; Kiminobu Tokuyama, managing director and CEO, Nissan India; S Velumani, chairman and managing director, Ennore Port; and ship’s capt Julius Niedo