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Nissan's X-Trail to hit Indian roads soon
Santanu Choudhury in New Delhi |
May 01, 2004
In what is likely to intensify the competition in the growing domestic utility-vehicle market, Japanese automaker Nissan Motor Co has started bookings for its maiden offering in India, the luxury sports utility vehicle X-Trail.
The 2.2-litre turbo-diesel SUV would be sold in two variants, Elegance and Comfort, at about Rs 20 lakh (Rs 2 million) and Rs 22.5 lakh (Rs 2.25 million) (ex-showroom Delhi), respectively, market sources said.
The X-Trail has a manual transmission delivering 136 horse power. It would be imported as a fully built unit and sold through four dealers in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata, the sources said.
The product was launched in Japan in November 2000. It was unveiled in India during the Auto Expo in Delhi in January 2004. The vehicle is currently sold in over 180 countries.
The launch of the X-Trail follows clearance by the ARAI (Automotive Research Association of India), the government vehicle testing authority in April.
According to the dealer in Mumbai, around seven X-Trails had been booked and more were expected soon. The four distributors will also be responsible for after-sales service and for setting up dealers in their respective regions.
Nissan officials had earlier said the X-Trail had a high-performance four-wheel drive system, which provided agile maneuverability as well as low fuel consumption. It has been developed around the product concept of a versatile and authentic SUV, designed to offer the optimum balance between off-road capacity and on-road comfort.
Based on the responses to the X-Trail, Nissan will expand its business plans in India. This is the second foray of Nissan in the country after its erstwhile light truck venture with Hyderabad-based Allwyn in the 90s.
Global majors like General Motors, Ford, Toyota, Suzuki, Honda, Hyundai and Mitsubishi and domestic automakers like Mahindra and Mahindra, Tata Motors and Bajaj Tempo are present in the domestic utility-vehicle market.
According to analysts, the current market success of the players is likely to attract more companies in this segment. Domestic UV sales went up by 27.6 per cent to 144,981 units during 2003-04.
The foreign firms are mainly focused on the top-end SUV market with models like Mitsubishi Pajero, Chevrolet Forester, Hyundai Terracan, Ford Endeavour, Honda CR-V and Suzuki Grand Vitara.
The UV segment witnessed increased sales after the launch of the Toyota Qualis and Mahindra and Mahindra's Scorpio. The competition is likely With GM set to launch its Chevrolet Tavera model next month, the segment is likely to witness more competition.