New Delhi: A year ago, Nissan Motor, one of the leading Japanese carmakers, was on the verge of collapse in the Indian market. It was written off and was fading into oblivion. But now everything has changed and changed absolutely with Magnite, its all-new SUV.
With Magnite in its arsenal, it has over 30,000 confirmed bookings from customers across India. The sub-5-lakh SUV is orchestrating a strategic turnaround for Nissan despite the pandemic woes. This is critical for a company that could sell only 5,448 vehicles in the first eight months of the ongoing fiscal.
According to sources at the dealerships, 30,000 were the number of bookings till Thursday evening. The final tally could even be higher. “We have over 2,000 customers waiting for the Magnite deliveries. The maximum number of bookings came in the last fortnight when Magnite was able to snatch customers off from pricier Hyundai Venue, Maruti Brezza and the Kia Sonet,” a Delhi-based Nissan dealer said.
It is surprising for the industry veterans to see such frenzied interest for a car in very challenging market conditions. The customers seem to grasp the value proposition of the price, and they want to grab the phenomenal benefits over its rivals. Magnite’s INR 4.99 lakh base price is far below the Hyundai Venue’s INR 6.75 lakh and the Maruti Suzuki Brezza’s INR 7.34 lakh ( prices in Delhi).
Customers evince a great fascination for Magnite’s 360-degree camera, usually available only in the C-segment vehicles. Its wireless Apple carplay and Android auto connectivity also stand out in the market.
The customers seem to grasp the value proposition of the price, and they want to grab the phenomenal benefits over its rivals.–
Sources in the industry say that the car was in great demand on the final day of the introductory price offer of INR 4.99lakh. Dealers say that “there was almost a mad rush” for the car on December 31. Going by the final tally in the pandemic year, Magnite could be the most booked vehicle of 2020. Many dealers stopped entertaining new bookings even from Wednesday night.
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Dealers estimate that the last day rush could have resulted in over 5,000 new bookings for Magnite in a single day and made it a blockbuster of 2020. Its nearest rival, the Hyundai i20 hatchback, has garnered 30,000 bookings in the first 40 days of its launch.
Going by the dealers’ bookings in their software, Magnite could be sold out for 2021, and Nissan India will have to increase production at its Chennai plant to meet the demand. The company has resumed manufacturing in the New Year and would be trying to beat its closest rival, Renault Kiger, expected in the next few months.
Analysts tracking the industry say that it’s a significant achievement for the company which had to face multiple launch failures right from Datsun RediGo. Even Kicks, an India-specific model, could not make any dent in the market. Many of the earlier models have been phased out from the market for want of demand.
Despite the massive baggage of failures, Magnite has been able to crack the market. Bookings are coming from dealers across India – from Kerala, Maharashtra, Delhi and Gujarat.
Magnite deliveries to customers are expected to commence from this month itself. Nissan has started dispatches from its Chennai plant.
Industry veterans feel that the product could change the destiny of the Indian market that would consolidate the position of fringe players to rebound and reshape their future while simultaneously grabbing the mind space of local customers.
The most significant success for Nissan after Sunny, Magnite is undoubtedly more prominent and may reshape the way the company moves ahead in India. And its success will surely force many companies to re-price their product lines and change the mix of variants offered to the Indian customers.
Magnite’s aggressive pricing has given a new measuring scale to the Indian customers, especially in the SUV segment. Many would start thinking that most of the options available in the market are overpriced. The future products would need price corrections because of the new benchmark.