The joint venture to make light trucks between Ashok Leyland Ltd and Japan’s Nissan will be commissioned by the fiscal year 2011-12, meeting its current schedule after hiccups arising from the global financial crisis, the venture’s India head said.
“We are very serious and confident with the project’s progress. Due to the financial crisis, it was postponed for a few months. We expect it to come on stream in 2011-12,” Kiminobu Tokuyama, managing director and chief executive officer, Nissan Motor India told Hindustan Times.
Earlier reports in June 2009 had said that the plans for the factory, to come up at Pillaipakkam, near Chennai, had run into difficulty.
Initially, the new truck was to be launched in the country by mid-2010.
Nissan is confident about the prospects of the light commercial vehicle market in India, and is still evaluating which vehicle it will roll out of the joint venture, said Tokuyama. He did not give further details.
Nissan, one of the world’s top five car companies, plans to capture five per cent of India’s car market ‘in the medium term’, Tokuyama said.
India’s light commercial vehicle market saw a year-on-year sales growth of 8.66 per cent in the April to August period of 2009. In the same period, overall commercial vehicle sales fell 15.30 per cent. Heavy and medium commercial vehicle sales dropped by 36.79 per cent, according to the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers.
The LCV plant will only produce cars for the domestic market and there are currently no plans of exports from here, Tokuyama said.