Nissan, Renault to invest $600 mil. to make 6 new models in India

Nissan Motor Co. and Renault SA said Monday that they will expand their operations in India with an investment of $600 million to develop six new models and boost local production.

Nissan and Renault, alliance partners for more than two decades, will jointly develop two electric and four sport-utility vehicle models for India, as well as for export, based on common platforms, expecting to create up to 2,000 new jobs at their joint research and development center.

Under the project, the Japanese and French automakers will manufacture electric vehicles for the first time in India and contribute to turning the country into an export hub, though details such as the EV launch schedule and local production capacity increase plans have yet to be decided.

The two partners last week unveiled a revamp of their alliance by reducing Renault's stake in Nissan to 15 percent, making it on par with Nissan's in its French peer.

"This project together with Nissan is a first concrete output of the new alliance ambition released on Feb. 6," Francois Provost, who oversees Renault's partnership, said in a release.

The new plan comes as India becomes increasingly lucrative for carmakers, overtaking Japan for the first time in 2022 to become the world's third-largest auto market with over 4.7 million vehicles sold.

In India, the alliance began production at a plant in Chennai in 2010 as their first joint manufacturing venture. Nissan built its Datsun-brand vehicles at the plant.

Renault is reducing its stake in the Japanese automaker from 43.4 percent, while Nissan will maintain its current 15 percent stake in its French partner under the overhauled partnership. The French automaker became the top shareholder of Nissan in 1999 when the Japanese firm was on the cusp of bankruptcy.

© Kyodo News