Japanese carmaker Nissan has a large manufacturing plant in India and since it arrived on our shores, the firm has ventured into many segments from hatchbacks, sedans, SUVs to premium sedans. However, it’s pretty obvious that Nissan hasn't got a good foothold in the market. Even its low cost brand Datsun has failed to find significant volumes. This lack of success doesn’t seem to due to a want for products or resources.
According to Alfonso Albaisa, Nissan’s Senior Vice President Global Design, the reasons are many and it also includes design. Not bad design per se but limitations with platform possibilities and not having enough local input.
Thus, the company is rapidly building up its local design studio. “I do want to design cars here,” Albaisa told media persons recently at an event in Chennai.
Elaborating further, Albaisa said the studio in India will tackle two types of projects. “One: where the project may have been designed anywhere but then rationalised or made real here in India and two: where, very quickly we are going to initiate programs that are specifically for India.” Thus, there will be downstream activities like production engineering design and also upstream activities like concept creation including exterior and interior design as well as colour design.
When asked if he thinks that the next big global designer can come from India, he confirmed this stating that Nissan already has two, Ajay Panchal, who designed the 350Z, and Hiren Patel, who designed the Nissan Navara and is also working on a new model.
Nissan launches Roots of Design programme for budding designers
In conversation with Thomas Kuehl, President, Nissan India video
Nissan reinforces two-brand strategy with Datsun
Datsun SUV for India confirmed