TOKYO (Reuters) -Nissan Motor Co and Renault SA said on Monday they would invest $600 million to make six new models in India, one of three markets in which the two automakers plan to coordinate closely in a revamped alliance announced last week.
The move will help address falling market shares for the Japanese and French companies in a market with rising global importance.
“This investment is very significant not only on products but on technologies like EVs to really capture the growing Indian market, which is the third-largest market in the world, and also to use India as a base for export,” Nissan chief operating officer Ashwani Gupta told reporters.
The two companies said in a statement that each would make three new models in India, all built on joint platforms – components and engineering that can be shared between designs.
Two models would be electric vehicles (EVs), the companies’ first in India; the others would be sports utility vehicles.
All will be made at the underemployed car plant that the companies jointly own at Chennai, in southern India. They have a research and development centre there, too.
Under a new structure for their two-decade-old global alliance announced on Feb. 6, Nissan and Renault will also cooperate closely in Latin America and Europe.
The two companies together had around 3% of the Indian market in 2022. Unlike Nissan, Renault does not have a significant presence China, the United States and Japan, raising the stakes for its success in India.
Industry-wide sales in India surged 23% last year to 4.4 million vehicles, overtaking the Japanese market, according to S&P Global Mobility.
The Chennai plant can produce about 500,000 vehicles a year, but last year Renault sold only 87,000 in India and Nissan 35,000.
(Reporting by Satoshi Sugiyama; Editing by Chang-Ran Kim, Edwina Gibbs and Bradley Perrett)