Ashok Leyland Stile MPV to be positioned below the 2012 Nissan Evalia: Andy Palmer
Every other month, a mover and shaker at Nissan Motor Company, a certain Andy Palmer visits India, one of the key markets for the Japanese automaker, from where a big chunk of the firm’s exports come from. Mr Palmer also visits Ashok Leyland, an Indian utility vehicle major that Nissan has a joint venture with, to manufacture the Evalia MPV, which incidentally is the Indian version of the best selling NV200 MPV that Nissan sells globally. In his latest visit to India, Mr Palmer has made a few comments about the positioning of the Nissan Evalia vis-a-vis the Ashok Leyland Stile.
In case you’re wondering, the Ashok Leyland Stile MPV is a rebadged and restyled version of the Nissan Evalia, and if we may add, a much better looking version than the staid and boring looking Evalia. Now, Mr Palmer, talking to one of India’s leading business news channels, NDTVProfit, asserted that the Stile built by Ashok Leyland would be positioned below the Evalia MPV, which will serve as a more upmarket version. Also, the Stile could be targeted at the cabbie segment while the Evalia would be aimed at the family MPV buyer.
Mr Palmer also mentioned about the possibility of the Evalia being made available with both petrol as well diesel engines but refrained from confirming on whether both the engine options would be made available on the Evalia right from launch. Our money is on the diesel variant as petrol engined MPVs are as rare in India as say, a pristine-ly maintained decade old Tata Indica. Pun notwithstanding, the Ashok Leyland Stile, on the other hand is expected to be launched with a diesel engine initially, with a CNG variant to join the party in due course of time.
Mr Palmer also highlighted that Nissan and Ashok Leyland’s partnership could spawn more vehicles in the coming years while declining to go into the specifics. Currently, Ashok Leyland builds the Dost 1.25 ton pick up truck, built with engineering inputs from Nissan under the Nissan-Ashok Leyland JV. The diesel engined Dost has been a stellar success with demand outstripping supply across the country. The Stile MPV would be the second product that will come out of this alliance. In due course of time, expect more such products to roll out of this joint venture.