February 13, 2023, in Chennai, Yokohama, and Boulogne-Billancourt. Renault and Nissan have announced a new long-term plan for India that includes increasing production and research and development, introducing electric vehicles, and switching to carbon-neutral manufacturing.
From their base in Chennai, the two companies will work together on six new production vehicles for both domestic and international customers, including two new fully electric vehicles. This will turn the Renault-Nissan centre into an international export hub.
The new projects will be supported by an initial investment of about $600 million USD or 5300 billion INR. This will help create up to 2,000 more jobs at the Renault Nissan Technology & Business Centre in Chennai. At the same time, the RNAIPL factory will become carbon-neutral because it will produce a lot more renewable energy.
After new high-value-creating operational projects for the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance were announced last week, Nissan’s Director, Chief Operating Officer, Ashwani Gupta, along with officials from the Tamil Nadu Government, spoke today in Chennai about the future of Renault and Nissan’s Indian operations.
Guillaume Cartier, Chairperson of Nissan’s Africa, Middle East, India, Europe, and Oceania region, 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 it will be at the centre of this new chapter of the Alliance. New vehicles, new R&D activities, and new export markets will take our joint operations to the next level. “For the first time, the Nissan line-up in India will reflect our global power in high-quality SUVs and EVs, bringing greater value to our employees, customers, and communities.”
Francois Provost, Managing Director of Alliance Purchasing Organization and International Development and Partnerships at Renault Group, said, “India is a key market for Renault Group. With the help of our teams and dealers, we’ve built up the Renault brand over the past 14 years to the point where 100,000 cars are sold each year. India is also a very important part of our R&D around the world. This project with Nissan is the first concrete result of the new Alliance goal, which was announced on February 6.”
The Government of Tamil Nadu’s Additional Chief Secretary for Industries, Mr. S. Krishnan, said, “The Renault-Nissan Alliance in Tamil Nadu has been making and designing cars in the state for more than 15 years. This is a very valuable and important relationship for the Government of Tamil Nadu and for the Alliance. It directly employs about 15,000 people in the State and has been a big part of keeping Tamil Nadu the automotive capital of India and an important centre for making cars and auto parts and designing cars as well. We are very excited about the Renault-Nissan Alliance’s new plan to modernise and invest in Tamil Nadu. This makes “Make in Tamil Nadu and Make in India for the World” a reality.
Putting new models into different market segments
Three of the six new models will be made by each company. They will be designed and made in Chennai. They will be built on common Alliance platforms while keeping their own, unique looks.
They will have four new SUVs in the C segment. Two new A-segment electric vehicles will be the first EVs for both Renault and Nissan in India. They will build on the experience and history of both brands in mass-market electrification, which started with the Nissan LEAF and Renault Zoe more than a decade ago.
A Renault and Nissan international hub in Chennai
The new models will be made for Indian customers, but they will also lead to a big increase in exports from India. This will bring plant utilisation up to 80% and keep many thousands of jobs at the RNAIPL plant in Chennai for many years to come.
Along with more production, the Renault Nissan Technology & Business Centre India will do more research and development and related work. This is expected to create up to 2,000 new jobs at the site near Chennai, which will focus on new Indian and international projects.
Roadmap to carbon neutral vehicle manufacturing
The RNAIPL plant, which is already one of the Alliance’s most important places for saving energy and resources, is also revealing its plan to become carbon neutral.
This will be done by 2045, thanks to an ongoing programme to switch to 100% renewable energy while cutting the plant’s energy use by 50% compared to what it is now.
More than half of Chennai Plant’s electricity comes from renewable sources like solar, biomass, and wind. The current solar plant, which has 2.2MW, will grow to 14MW, which is more than six times bigger.
Restarting a relationship
As a result of both companies’ renewed commitment to the Indian market, Renault and Nissan are changing who owns what in their joint operations.
Under the new framework agreement, Renault Nissan Automotive India Private Ltd (RNAIPL) will be owned by 51% Nissan and 49% Renault. The Renault Nissan Technology Business Centre (RNTBCI) will change hands so that 51% of it belongs to Renault and 49% to Nissan. This makes the partnership stronger for the long term and gives the joint ventures more power and responsibility.
Nissan AMIEO Chairperson Cartier said, “Renault and Nissan have renewed their commitment to India today, and we thank the Tamil Nadu Government for their strong partnership and support.” I was so happy to be in Chennai to tell the team the good news. Their performance and ability to compete have given us the confidence to make long-term investments.”
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