Renault-Nissan: Optimizing output at India plant

Siddharth Philip and Ganesh Nagarajan
Bloomberg News

Renault SA and Nissan Motor Co. said they are working to “optimize” manufacturing at their joint factory in India amid a decline in their local sales this year.

The companies “continuously” take steps to “adapt to the volatile business environment and consistent to our strategy,” Nissan’s India unit said in an e-mailed statement on Thursday. The plant has a capacity to produce 400,000 units annually and makes Renault, Nissan and Datsun brand vehicles.

The statement comes after the Economic Times newspaper reported, citing a company official it didn’t identify, that a decision has been made to lower production to 20 cars an hour from 40, and it could cut as many as 3,000 jobs. The company in an emailed response to questions said the figures in the report are inaccurate, without providing details.

Domestic sales of Nissan’s India unit declined 20 percent to 14,138 units in the four months through July, while exports rose 5.6 percent to 33,088 units. Renault India’s deliveries declined 4.5 percent to 13,628 units, while exports dropped 98 percent to 56 vehicles, according to data from the Society of India Automobile Manufacturers.

Renault and Nissan jointly set up the factory in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu that became operational in 2010.