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Nissan Launches the Magnite to Turn Around Poor Sales in India

In December 2020, Nissan Motor launched a new compact SUV, the Magnite, in India. The Magnite was designed and developed in Japan with a focus on the Indian market. It is produced in India by the Oragadam plant of Renault Nissan Automotive India. This model is included in Nissan’s business structural reform plan “Nissan NEXT,” as one of the 12 models scheduled to be released in 2021. Starting with the Indian market, the Magnite will be also launched in other emerging countries.

The Magnite is based on the CMF-A platform and is the sister model of the Renault Kiger, which was released in January 2021. This is Nissan’s first compact SUV with a total length of less than 4 meters, which makes it compatible with India’s length-based tax system. It has a minimum ground clearance of 205mm which makes it very competitive compared to other compact SUVs whose minimum ground clearance ranges between 180mm and 190mm.

The Magnite comes with two types of powertrains, the 1.0L naturally-aspirated gasoline engine B4D and the 1.0L turbocharged gasoline engine HRA0. Both of them have three cylinders. The Magnite is the first model powered by the HRA0 in India. While the B4D is combined with a 5-speed MT, the HRA0 is mated with a 5-speed MT or with a CVT.

The model has an entry price of 549,000 INR. By setting only a 3-cylinder engine and simplifying safety and comfort features of the entry grade, it is 20 to 30% cheaper than rival models whose entry price ranges between 650,000 and 800,000 INR. On the other hand, various advanced safety technologies have been incorporated into the higher grades, such as around-view monitor as standard equipment.

Nissan’s Nissan and Datsun brands have been seeing worsening sales in India. It will be interesting to see whether the Magnite, a model which was developed for the Indian market, can turn around this trend.

Nissan Motor: Product Overview of the Magnite

Model Overview

・In October 2020, Nissan introduced the new compact SUV Magnite, which was developed mainly for the Indian market. The model was launched on the Indian market on December 2, 2020. – The name “Magnite” is a combination of the words magnetic and ignite. – It is Nissan’s first compact SUV with a total length of less than four meters. – In Nissan’s business structural reform plan “Nissan NEXT,” released in May 2020, the company outlined that it plans to launch 12 new models by the end of 2021, and Magnite is one of them. – The price at the time of launch ranged between 499,000 INR to 935,000 INR. However, due to the price revision in January 2021, the price range changed to 549,000-959,000 INR. ・The development was carried out utilizing the Tochigi Proving Ground in Japan, and Japanese engineers designed the upper body for the Indian market. ・Production is handled by the Oragadam plant of Renault Nissan Automotive India (RNAIPL), a production subsidiary in India. – According to data released by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), 1,974 units were made in December 2020 of which five units were exported. – With the start of production of the Magnite, the Oragadam plant has also started production of the 1.0L turbocharged gasoline engine HRA0. – In January 2021, with the aim of shortening delivery times, the automaker hired more than 1,000 employees and shifted to a three-shift system to increase production capacity. In addition to this, the personnel of dealerships is strengthened (estimated to be about 150 people), so the delivery time is expected to be shortened to 2–3 months. ・The Nissan Magnite is the sister model of the Renault Kiger which was released in January 2021. – The Magnite uses the same platform as the Kiger and the body size is almost the same. However, there are also differences such as the Kiger is equipped with AMT that is not used for the Magnite. ・The Magnite was developed targeting the Indian market, but it is also planned to be exported to emerging countries. – In Indonesia, Nissan began taking advance orders on December 21, 2020. Delivery is expected to start around March 2021. Three trims are available for 2.09 billion–2.39 billion IDR. The model is powered by only a 1.0L gasoline engine combined with a 5-speed MT or CVT.
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