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Nissan adds third shift to reduce waiting time for its new SUV Magnite

Employs 1,000 hands at factory and more staff at the dealerships towards this end. Plans to export the car to Indonesia and South Africa

Nissan | Nissan Datsun | SUVs

T E Narasimhan  |  Chennai 

Nissan Magnite: Japan automaker bets big on small SUV to revive India biz
Magnite is Nissan's first sub-4 metre SUV a segment and will take on Kia Motor's Sonet, Hyundai Motor's Venue and others.

Japanese auto major Motor Company on Monday said it has added a third shift at its Chennai plant to increase output of its compact sport utility vehicle (SUV) Magnite to around 3,500-4,000 units per month by February, from the current level of about 2,500 units per month.

The company will recruit 1,000 workers at the factory to ramp up production capacity for the SUV, which has generated 180,000 enquiries and 32,800 bookings within a month of its launch on December 2, 2020, said Rakesh Srivastava, managing director, Motor India. India’s channel partners will additionally hire 500 personnel to improve customer experience at dealerships.

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Its conversion ratio is also one of the best in the industry at 17.8 per cent, while generally on average, it is around 3-5 per cent. “We want to ensure the waiting period on the Magnite stays well within two-three months,” said Srivastava. The firm is also looking to export the model to Indonesia and South Africa. The company’s plan is in contrast to its announcement in 2019 to cut over 1,700 jobs in India, mostly in manufacturing operations, as part of a global exercise to reduce headcount by over 6,000 in different locations. The Renault-Nissan alliance has an installed annual capacity of 480,000 units at its Oragadam unit, and exports to over 100 countries.

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India is the global production hub for the Magnite, and Nissan has already launched it in Indonesia, with exports to Nepal, Thailand, and South Africa set to follow.

Srivastava said barring the entry-level Magnite trim, the firm would not be increasing prices of other variants of the compact SUV. The revised price of the entry-level Nissan Magnite XE is Rs 5.49 lakh (all prices ex-showroom Delhi). The firm declined to share any numbers, including capacity utilisation and sales target, for the new model. The Magnite is Nissan’s first sub-4 metre SUV and will take on Kia Motors’ Sonet and Hyundai Motor’s Venue.

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First Published: Mon, January 04 2021. 16:15 IST