Nissan to show new Alto-rival at Paris
26 August 2008

Autocar has learned that Nissan is going to be previewing its own version of the forthcoming Suzuki Alto at the Paris Show in October.Like the Alto, Nissan’s model will be sourced from India and will go on sale in 2009. Nissan won’t reveal the car’s name or what it looks like until closer to the show, but it’s expected to be pretty close to the Alto and will come in below the Micra as a entry level for the range. It’s the latest step in a deal that’s seen Nissan and Suzuki swap models both in Japan and in North America to plug gaps in their respective model ranges. Suzuki’s new shape Alto takes to the road as the production version of its A-Star mini concept that was unveiled at the New Dehli Motor Show this January, and which made a follow-up appearance at Geneva where it won widespread acclaim. The Alto is believed to be a small five-door hatch with Euro 5 compliant 1.0-litre aluminum petrol engine with a C02 target of below 109 g/km. It will be positioned below Suzuki’s Hungarian-made Splash, yet the company is still promising it will offer ample room and comfort. Nissan’s version of the Alto might prove to be no more than a stop-gap model until the company’s own next-generation city car comes on stream. Nissan and Renault have recently broken ground on their own new factory in India, the finished plant in Chennai set to produce up to 400,000 cars a year.Nissan has said it has plans to source nine new products from India, including its ULC (Ultra Low Cost) rival to the Tata Nano and the next generation Micra that will be based off its new A-platform.

Peter Nunn

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