India has its own 'Big Three'

Carlos Ghosn, right, head of the French and Japanese automakers Renault and Nissan, shakes hands with the vice chairman and managing director of Indian automaker Mahindra, Anand Mahiondra on Nov. 9, 2006.

SCOTT JAGOW: It's the new "Big Three" of India's booming auto industry. Nissan, Japan's third-largest automaker, today announced a joint project with two other companies. It will collaborate to build a factory in India with French manufacturer Renault and the Indian company Mahindra & Mahindra. Miranda Kennedy has more now from New Delhi.


MIRANDA KENNEDY: The factory is expected to be India's most productive auto plant within two years. Mahindra, one of India's largest carmakers, will own 50 percent. Renault and Nissan will each take 25 percent. Renault is already here. But for Nissan it'll be a manufacturing foothold. Dilip Chenoy, head of India's auto industry group, says both companies have been looking to expand here.
DILIP CHENOY: Every global player is now interested in the Indian automotive market. If youre looking at 20-percent growth rate, it doesn't make sense for any global automaker not to look at the Indian market.

Nissan, in particular, is hoping its entry here will make up for declining sales in the U.S. and Japan. There are slightly more than a million cars on the road in India now. That's expected to double in the next three years, making India the world's second-fastest growing car market after China.

In New Delhi, I'm Miranda Kennedy for Marketplace.

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