Nissan will begin exporting the next Micra from its new factory in Oragadam near Chennai, India once production begins there in the middle of next year. Exports could account for 60-70% of production.
The factory, which will have an annual capacity of 200,000, is slated to begin production by May or June 2010 for the local market, but once production of the Micra stops in Sunderland, UK it is likely to meet demand with exports the vehicle from Chennai.
The added logistics costs and import tariffs will be added to the final price of cars being sold in Europe but the company is hoping to balance that price with lower labour costs and local component sourcing.
Nissan already exports from India as part of its deal with Maruti Suzuki in the form of the Pixo – a rebadged variant of the redesigned Alto.
The company uses Mitsui OSK Lines for inland export activity from the Oragadam plant which includes transporting the vehicles to the government-owned Port of Ennore near Chennai, as well as handling, storage and preparation for loading. (read more here).
The plant is being promoted by an alliance partnership with Renault called Renault Nissan Automotive Indian Private Ltd, though the French carmaker will not be part of the initial production schedule.