Nissan Motor Co. will introduce its first Datsun model in India by March 2014 as the Japanese carmaker offers cheaper vehicles in a push for a fivefold increase in its share of Asia’s third-biggest auto market.
The Indian maker of Royal Enfield, the World War II-era British motorcycle owned by stars including Brad Pitt, plans to export the vehicles to Southeast Asia and Latin America as it builds on record sales at home.
As India’s car market took off in recent years, global luxury brands focused on selling sumptuous sedans and big sport utility vehicles in Mumbai, Delhi, and Kolkata, home to the bulk of the country’s wealthy. Germany’s Audi shows that’s changing.
Indian suppliers to automakers including Suzuki Motor Corp. and Tata Motors Ltd. are looking at cutting costs and boosting shipments abroad as they brace for the first annual decline in vehicle sales at home in a decade.
Honda Motor Co., the world’s biggest motorcycle maker, overtook Bajaj Auto Ltd. as India’s second biggest two-wheeler seller after rising demand for its scooters and motorbikes helped Honda outpace the industry.
Indian inflation eased in March by more than economists estimated to a 40-month low, boosting the case for an interest-rate cut to revive a struggling economy. Bonds and stocks gained, while the rupee weakened.