Renault-Nissan commit Rs 5,300 crore investments in Tamil Nadu, to introduce 6 new models including EVs
The fresh round of investments would witness rollout of six new models between the two companies, including two electric vehicles, representing the two global brands, Nissan Global Chief Operating Officer and Member, Alliance Board Ashwani Gupta said.
France-based automobile manufacturer Renault and Japan-headquartered Nissan on Monday committed investments of USD 600 million (around Rs 5,300 crore) in the country 15 years after foraying into the Tamil Nadu automobile industry.
The fresh round of investments would witness rollout of six new models between the two companies, including two electric vehicles, representing the two global brands, Nissan Global Chief Operating Officer and Member, Alliance Board Ashwani Gupta said here.
Currently, both automakers produce four models at the Chennai plant located at Oragadam, about 45 kilometres from here.
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According to Gupta, the Renault-Nissan manufacturing facility would also become 100 per cent carbon neutral by 2025 with use of renewal energy.
The investments would see creation of 2,000 new jobs at the Renault Nissan Research and Development and Business Centre located at Mahindra Research City in Singaperumalkoil.
Gupta, in the presence of Chief Minister M K Stalin, Renault India Country CEO Venkatram Mamillapallee exchanged memorandum of understanding with Tamil Nadu government promoted nodal agency Guidance Bureau MD and CEO Vishnu Venugopal at an event here.
Elaborating on the new models, Gupta said: "Today is almost 15 years of Renault-Nissan announcing plans of a manufacturing facility in Chennai following signing of an agreement with Government of Tamil Nadu."
"Since then, our factory (in Chennai) has produced more than 2.4 million cars and exports to over 108 countries. I am delighted to announce that our partnership (Renault-Nissan) continues with a new agreement with Government of Tamil Nadu," he said.
Gupta termed the signing of agreement with the government as a 'long-term commitment' of the automakers to India and the wider region.
On the signing of the new agreement, he said India is one of the key markets and it is poised to become the third largest automotive market in the world.
"That is why we are thrilled to announce our new long-term vision for the country where we will introduce six new models, including two battery-operated vehicles to be made at our plant in Chennai. This plant will become an international export hub," he said.
The increased activity in new projects at its technical centres including digital and software development would see creation of up to 2,000 jobs at Mahindra World City, he added.
"We are (also) transforming our Chennai plant into a carbon neutral manufacturing power house. This is really a great day for the alliance...," he said.
The Chennai plant already sources more than 50 per cent of its electricity from renewable energy including solar, biomass and wind. The existing solar plant would become more than six times bigger, expanding to a 14 MW plant from 2.2 MW currently, the company said.
On the rollout of new products, Gupta said, "Of the six new models manufactured here, three will be made by Nissan and three by Renault -- to the four existing Nissan and Renault vehicles. These vehicles will be built on a common alliance platform while keeping individual distinctive brand identify."
Gupta said the new manufacturing products would include four new 'C' segment Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs) while it would be the first for Nissan in India. "Importantly, this lineup will include Nissan and Renault's first-ever electric vehicles for India," he said.
Two new 'A' segment electric vehicle products would be built on both brands (Renault and Nissan) and would have mass market electrification, he said referring to the success of the company's electric vehicles Nissan Aria and Secura.
The investment announcements made by the company signals significant increase in exports from India showcasing the skilled manufacturing capabilities that would benefit the customers in the world, he said. "Our plant will boost plant utilisation, up to 80 per cent securing thousands of jobs in years to come," he said.
By 2025, 100 per cent of the electricity used in the plant would be renewable energy, Gupta said. "This is an ambitious and important target as you can see we are fully committed to the Indian market in electrification..."
Under the new framework of agreement, Renault Nissan Automotive India Pvt Ltd would move to an ownership of 51 per cent Nissan and 49 per cent Renault.
Renault Nissan Technology Business Centre would move to an ownership of 51 per cent Renault - 49 per cent Nissan. "This reinforces the partnership for the long-term and will empower the joint ventures with more responsibility and more autonomy," the company said in a statement.
Gupta recalled that he was present during the inauguration of the company's research and development and formation of Renault Nissan Automobile India Pvt Ltd about 17 years ago in Chennai and in other parts of the country.
"It is personally very significant for me to be back here and to be a part of building a future for the company and for our people," he said.
According to a company statement, the new models to be produced at the Chennai plant would not only serve the domestic customers but also signal a significant increase in exports from India, boosting plant utilisation levels to 80 per cent.
Nissan's Africa, Middle East, India, Europe and Oceania region Chairperson Guillaume Cartier said: "Renault and Nissan are fully committed to the Indian market, committed to electrifying the Indian market and committed to minimising our impact on the environment."
"India was the first Alliance plant and India will be at the centre of this new chapter of the Alliance, with new vehicles, new R&D activities and new export markets taking our joint operations to the next level." he said.
"Renault and Nissan have renewed their commitment to India today and we thank the Tamil Nadu government for their strong partnership and support," Cartier said.
Tamil Nadu Industries department additional chief secretary S Krishnan said, "The Renault-Nissan Alliance in Tamil Nadu has had manufacturing and design facilities operation in the state for more than 15 years now. This is a very valuable and important relationship for the Government of Tamil Nadu and the Alliance. It employs about 15,000 people indirectly in the State..."
"We are very excited about this new proposal of modernisation and fresh investment by the Renault-Nissan Alliance in Tamil Nadu. This genuinely brings to life 'Make in Tamil Nadu' and 'Make in India for the World'," he added.