Car Sizzler Interviewshttp://carsizzler.com/interviewsNew Interviews in CarSizzler Interview - Rajeev Kapur, MD, Steelbird Hi-Tech India Ltd http://www.carsizzler.com/interview-detail/0013/Interview---Rajeev-Kapur--MD--Steelbird-Hi-Tech-India-Ltd.html   "Sales of women helmets will increase by 200% for Steelbird" - Rajeev Kapur, MD, Steelbird Helmets   Ever since the new mandate making helmet wearing compulsary for women travelling on 2-wheelers has been passed for Delhi, Steelbird has seen a change in helmet buying pattern. While Steelbird sells one female helmet every 5 helmets, Rajeev Kapur, MD, Steelbird Hi-Tech India believes the new law will increase the sales of women oriented helmets by about 200%. He further tell us how is Steebird planning to meet this growing demand. Excerpts from the interview.   Q) What’s your take on the new mandate that necessitates use of helmets for women on 2-wheelers?   A) First of all we welcome this law. Its not that I, being a helmet maker appreciate it. But making helmet wearing compulsory for men and not for women brings us to a conclusion that we don't value women (their life) as much as men. We have to give them the same weightage of their life, so we welcome this law. Helmet is a product that saves the life of a human being. So, this is something that the government could do to save the lives of people without any investment. So, that's why this law has to be there and I hope this law should be countrywide.     Q) The government has also increased the fine-value staggeringly. What’s your take on that? Won’t it attract bribery?   A) I appreciate the higher ticket value as it makes it easier for the police to enforce the law. In India, the laws are not so strong. If you don't impose a heavy fine and make laws stringent, you can’t control it.     Q) Ever since the new norms have come in, have you seen a change in purchasing pattern on women oriented helmets in Delhi?   A) The shift in purchasing pattern of female helmets has already started. We are already giving female helmets to Yamaha. In Delhi, our female helmets have been popular since launch.     Q) What is the proportion of male to female helmet sales currently?   A) Sales proportion (female:male) has a big time difference. But now we’re selling almost 20% of our sales as female helmets. Proportion will now rise for female helmets. People have already started for asking different (women oriented) coloured helmets.     Q) How much will the enforcement of this law in Delhi affect your business?   A) I predict that sales for women helmets will increase by 200% for Steelbird’s women’s helmets because of enforcement of this law. We are selling around 10,000 female helmets a month and now we believe it can touch 25,000 units a month. We are also launching new helmets for ladies in December with a long visor, light-weight and smaller size.     Q) How well are you equipped to deal with the surge in demand of female helmets?   A) We are increasing production, we’re increasing machinery and we are setting up another plant in Baddi and we have started processing helmets in Noida as well. So, we are gearing up and we’ll meet the demand in another few months time. But since we are launching so many new models, some are even entry-level helmets, we have now stopped painting helmets. We have started to launch the helmets in natural finish. It also has a longer life. This way we reduce the cost of making the helmet and pass the benefit to the customer.     Q) What’s your current production capacity?   A) This year we will cross more than 1 million helmets per annum. Previously it was around 6 lacs to 7 lacs.     Q) What’s your current network strength?   A) We have a direct dealer and distributor network of 2,200. So, our helmets pan-India will be on about 20,000 shops. We have an incredible network. In Delhi only we have 150 dealers and 500 shops but we have only 2 exclusive showrooms.     Q) What are your expansion plans, especially since your exclusive stores are still not much in number?   A) By 2016 we will have 200 Steelbird Rider Shops pan-India. We are in Ahmedabad, Kanpur and many other places. These are exclusive Steelbird Rider Shops. http://www.carsizzler.com/rss_feed/interview-0 Interview - Amit Sagar, National Sales Head - North & West, PV Business Unit, Tata Motors http://www.carsizzler.com/interview-detail/0012/Interview---Amit-Sagar--National-Sales-Head---North---West--PV-Business-Unit--Tata-Motors.html   “We have been associated with diesel cars only because we didn't have a cut-through technology of petrol, now we have Revotron 1.2-lt turbo”.. Amit Sagar, Tata Motors   says Amit Sagar, National Sales Head – North & West, PV Business Unit, Tata Motors in reference to the petrol powered Tata Zest, 35 of which have already been delivered in Delhi-NCR. He further tells us about Tata’s Revotron engine, petrol-diesel market and option of an AMT Tata Zest petrol. Read more..     Q) Tata Motors has always been considered to be a brand offering VFM diesel cars. What are your expectations from the petrol powered Tata Zest?   A - We have been associated with diesel cars only because we didn't have a cut-through technology of petrol, now we have Revotron 1.2-lt turbo. The kind of performance it offers is segment leading.  Once you have an offering people will buy it. we’ve made a new entry in petrol and we’re sure people will buy it.   Q) You have now delivered 35 petrol cars out of 100. Do you expect that this ratio of petrol to diesel will remain the same with the Zest?   A - My sense is that petrol segment is increasing and we just saw a reduction in price of petrol so the gap is coming down. The segment has about 50% share of petrol. So, I sense initially it (ratio of petrol Zest) will be about 30% with Tata.   Revotron Engine - Tata Motors     Q) Will this engine or an iteration of it be seen on other Tata PVs?   A – Yes, an iteration of this engine will go into other cars as well. It’ll come into the Bolt. I can’t say whether this engine would come in the current cars but there is a plan which we will disclose. We have entire powertrain strategy so there is a lot of work happening on the future petrol and in-house diesel engines. We will soon announce it.     Q) What has the response been like to the Zest ZMT diesel?   A - We are getting a lot of customers interested in the AMT. In a week’s time we’ll get a better percentage of the ratios. Right now, AMT enquiries are about 20%. How much translates into sales will depend upon the waiting periods etc.     Q) Is it possible to mate this transmission with the Revotron Zest?   A - I think the same transmission can be used with the petrol engine as well. It's a clutchless AMT so it can be used. AMT supplies will start in November. http://www.carsizzler.com/rss_feed/interview-1 We don't want to be the Next Cheap Car - Mercedes-Benz India http://www.carsizzler.com/interview-detail/0011/We-don-t-want-to-be-the-Next-Cheap-Car---Mercedes-Benz-India.html   “We don't want to be the Next Cheap Car”   ..says, Eberhard Kern, Managing Director & CEO, Mercedes-Benz India as he talks candid about Mercedes Benz’ upcoming CLA Class, recently concluded Young Star Driver Programme, their AMG line-up and his take on a recently launched compact luxury sedan. Excerpts from the interview:     Q) You’ve concluded the second season of the Young Star Driver Programme. How has been the response and what have been the take-aways?   A) A lot of time and effort is spent on application of such a programme. Its not done in a few minutes, so, obviously the interest is high in such a programme. The interest, enthusiasm of motorsports is there and it works. There is room, demand and interest in this field of motorsports. This is one of the take-aways. Secondly, there is a great connect between us i.e Mercedes Benz AMG and young India. It’s a great opportunity. I’m happy to see a lady in the final 6 as well. There was even a handicap guy, its phenomenal. There are so many stories you experience.     Q) What lies next for the winner of the Young Star Driver Programme?   A) Its in 4 steps, the basic and advanced training both are done here (India) and then the professional training takes place in Germany and he also gets to go to the Singapore F1 race and meet the team and drivers there.     Q) What is the scope of opportunities that the winner gets with Mercedes Benz? A) Finally, it's all about competition and you have to be good and get discovered as a talent. We do not run a racing team in India so we can’t offer any opportunity. But you obviously get several different opportunities. First of all you improve your skills by working with professionals. Secondly, it gives you a lot of exposure as you get in touch with big guys like boss of our F1 team and more. If you are a communicative person, you also get a chance to meet team leaders of other teams as well, so you get exposed. That’s a platform we can offer. We do not have a job as a racer but this is a platform. There’s a lot of competition out there.     Q) Young Star Driver Programme this year has seen a lot of applicants from Tier II and Tier III cities. What is the potential of an AMG market in those cities?   A) This is neither our preliminary nor final goal (to make markets out of T2 – T3 cities). It won’t lead to sales directly. There is a market there, of course, and if you see, I think Mercedes Benz is a brand well known and AMG is known as well. We are not new to India and there are 50,000+ MB customers in India. If you see the distribution, then we can clearly say it's a brand present all over India. Delhi-NCR and Mumbai together make 45% of our sales, so over 50% sales come from all other areas. We have now 64 dealerships in 36 cities. This is a goal in our strategy to be close to our customers and Mercedes Benz customers are everywhere.     Q) You have planned to bring the CLA class after its AMG model in India. Why such a strategy?   A) We have a product portfolio strategy and we wanted to have the CLA 45 AMG in at earliest possible time. Regular CLA will come within 6 months. There is incredibly high demand for CLA globally and we are fighting allocation for India. We have announced that it will be built in India. It wasn't easy competing with other markets.     "The CLA Class is a stylish and sporty sedan built with highest quality and it won’t be a cheap offer. We don't want to be the next cheap car."     Mercedes Benz CLA 45 AMG Review   Q) Audi recently launched the A3 compact sedan in India and made a first move in that segment. What is your take on it?   A) First move was A & B Class and there are almost 2,500 A & B Class cars on Indian roads. I do not want to comment on any brand/product. However, it's a little strange to see that you have placed an offer and its (the car) not there (the base variant). But it's a completely different product. The CLA is not an entry-level sedan and its even longer than the current C Class. It's a stylish and sporty sedan built with highest quality and it won’t be a cheap offer. Mercedes Benz was never cheap actually. Mercedes Benz cars are high value cars and our customers know that they pay a bit more for Mercedes Benz but they know what they get for their money and resale value is also highest in the market. We don't want to be the next cheap car.   Check Audi A3 launch prices here     Q) Which all products have you lined up for future? A) We have the most exciting time ahead of us and we’re lining up the GLA, CLA and new C Class in a few months time. The best time is still ahead of us and we’re preparing for that. We are by far the fastest growing luxury brand out there. MB is in a run and most important models are still to come. 2015 will be a very exciting year.   http://www.carsizzler.com/rss_feed/interview-2 Learning never stops and I'm here to learn new things - Alisha Abdullah http://www.carsizzler.com/interview-detail/0010/Learning-never-stops-and-I-m-here-to-learn-new-things---Alisha-Abdullah.html   "Learning never stops and I’m here to learn new things"   That comes from India’s first female national racing champion, India’s only superbike woman racer and the fastest of them all. A very humble girl who took to racing as a kid is now on a roll as she prepares for her maiden international level championship, the Toyota Vios Championship in Asia, Alisha Abdullah. She further tells Jagdev Kalsi of Carsizzler.com about her experience with Mercedes Benz Young Star Programme and her new upcoming venture, an academy for girls in India. Excerpts from the interview.     Q) You started as a Superbike Racer and now you have moved to Car Racing. How has the transition been?   A) I moved from bike racing to car racing 4 years back. I was a superbike racer but now I’ve moved to car racing and have been able to achieve a lot of podiums in the VW racing and now I have moved to international racing. Not many people know about it but I’m racing in the Toyota Vios Cup in Asia with fellow women racers. My first race is over there and I’ve got 1st and 2nd and that’s a Cup, now this is my second Championship which is 2 weeks from now.     Q) So, the Young Star Driver is a preparation for that?   A) I came here basically because I really want to go to their (Mercedes Benz’) academy because learning never stops and I’m learning new things. My training over there is different. These cars are different, they are race cars and these are road cars. Completely different technique is used here.     Q) So, is the transition from Race car to Road car smooth?   A) I’m doing the street racing so when hitting a corner you drift it so much getting the tail out while this is completely different. It took me like 2 sessions to actually learn the techniques of the car which I’m not used to. So, it was different but at least I’m there, just 1 second off these people, so, I’m happy about it.     Q) How do you think would this help you in your career?   A) I don't think this would actually help me in my career, like I said, it is completely different. Racing road car is different. If I drive so smoothly into the corners, I’m going to be dead slow. But definitely it is a learning experience and its AMG, who would miss that opportunity, it's a dream come true.     Q) You completely defy the ‘women can’t drive’ statement. What message would you want to give to women and men who believe in that?   A) I really don't believe in the ‘women can’t drive’ thing. And for that I’m opening an academy for women and the plan is on and I have already started. It is going to be all over India academy and I’m also supposed to have a girl championship in bike racing at BIC with Dhoni’s team and JK Tyre. I’ve seen a lot of girls who do not know a lot about cars and how can they be driven to their potential. So, I’ll have an academy with “My name” (Alisha Abdullah) School of Racing Bikes and Cars but I’ll start with bikes first and I’m going to have girls come over to a track and train them. I don't think any girl can as of now bend down, get on knees and do a corner, there are so many techniques to learn, hitting apexes, cornering and lots of things like how to ride in wet conditions etc. So, I’m going to start the academy in a few days time. That’s going to be a very big think for me. I think so by next year we’ll have a lot of girls into racing.   Photos: http://www.facebook.com/RishabhSoodPictures http://www.carsizzler.com/rss_feed/interview-3 We want people to experience us - Triumph India http://www.carsizzler.com/interview-detail/009/We-want-people-to-experience-us---Triumph-India.html   “We want people to experience us” – Triumph India   … says Vimal Sumbly, MD, Triumph Motorcycles (India) Private Limited on the occasion of opening of their Delhi outlet, which is also the closest showroom in proximity to their CKD unit in Gurgaon. In a short but intriguing chit-chat with Jagdev Kalsi, Vimal shares his thoughts on competition and market-share.   JK – You have a large and complete portfolio of bikes ranging from 6 segments that gives you an edge over other superbike and premium motorcycle manufacturers. Does it help you take a pie off the other bike-makers’ plates?   VS - As of now there is a large space available, I don't think anybody is going to eat into anybody’s sales right now. I think a lot of free space is available to do their best and grow in the industry. The industry has to expand and it will. I don’t see any competition cutting each other as of now but people can shift makes.     JK – You talked about your target of reaching 1,500+ sales units by 2016. What sort of market share you think will Triumph have at that time among premium bike manufacturers in India?   VS - As a person, I don't like talking about market share in business as it doesn't give you an idea about profitability. Still, by the time we’ll do 1500 odd sales, we’ll be in a position to have a 25-30% market share. But I really don't believe in market share. Volume is important, it is measurable and it also gives you a direction.     JK – Talking about direction, what is Triumph India’s direction from here onwards, now that you have announced that you’ll open a new outlet in Chennai on 7th June and in Kolkata in July?   VS - Our focus is to reach as many enthusiasts because we are a bike enthusiast brand. We want people to experience us. Whether they experience us with a cup of coffee, whether they experience our accessories or on our bikes, our objective is that we’re here for a long term presence so our objective is to reach our customers.     A little about Mr. Vimal Sumbly     He joined Triumph Motorcycles India Private Limited as the Managing Director for India in July this year. His expertise and in depth knowledge of buyer’s requirement study, customer servicing and identifying new opportunities within the Indian market are of great value to Triumph in India. Prior to joining Triumph, Vimal Sumbly was associated with Bajaj Auto Ltd for over a decade, spearheading the sales and marketing of their two-wheeler segment for the West Zone.     An ardent biker himself, he is also widely recognized for introduction of new products, implementing product launching strategy, positioning, sales promotion and streamlining channel operations leading to sales growth in his past assignments at Bajaj Auto Limited. He holds a Bachelors of Engineering in Mechanics from Maharashtra Institute of Technology, Pune and also holds a Post Graduate degree in Marketing. http://www.carsizzler.com/rss_feed/interview-4 We have aggressive plans to enter C segment in near future - GM-Marketing, Toyota Kirloskar Motor, Sanjay Gupta http://www.carsizzler.com/interview-detail/008/We-have-aggressive-plans-to-enter-C-segment-in-near-future---GM-Marketing--Toyota-Kirloskar-Motor--Sanjay-Gupta.html   “We have aggressive plans to enter C segment in near future”   …says GM-Marketing, Toyota Kirloskar Motor, Sanjay Gupta. In an intriguing interview with the man who heads Toyota’s marketing in India, it becomes clear as to why Toyota is reluctant to book cars online and what will be Toyota’s marketing initiative for the upcoming desirable Toyota Corolla Altis. Excerpts from the interview.     CS - When can we expect the new Corolla Altis and Etios Cross to be here? SG - Both the cars will be available for deliveries in April-May 2014   CS - Has the production of the new Toyota Corolla Altis started? Also if you can throw some light on what were the sales figures for the Altis in its last leg of the previous generation. SG - Current Altis has been discontinued, New Altis production has started.D4-D model was one of the good models we had introduced in the Altis. On an average putting both models together we were selling 400 units a month, towards the end. Now we are in the process of finishing the stock.   CS - The entry level D segment or the C+ segment in which the Altis falls, has recently seen depleting sales. What do you think is the main reason for such a trend? SG - The success of cars like the Hyundai Verna and Honda City people don’t find value in models like Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla Altis. This is the issue which we faced during the last 6 months because new products had come into the market. But now (with the new Altis) if the Corolla Altis is priced correctly, it’ll be a model which everyone would want to buy. So once the prices are out then only we can say something. But we have really high hopes with this model.   CS - If cars from the C segment are doing so well, why doesn’t Toyota plan a vehicle in that segment? The Etios is just below it while the Corolla is above it. SG - We also want to be in the C segment. We’re studying the market and we’ll be there at the right time. But, I can tell you openly that there are aggressive plans in near future.   CS - What will be Toyota’s marketing strategy for the new Corolla Altis? SG - For the Altis, the first set we’ll focus on will be the people who own a Toyota, be it a Fortuner, Innova or any other Toyota, because they know what a Toyota is, and what Toyota QDR (Quality-Durability-Reliability) stands for. Our strategy will be primarily to target people who appreciate QDR, and then moving to the next level. One of the key pillars would be attractive exchange policy on current Toyota cars   CS - What are your plans about the online marketing initiatives for the new Altis and Etios Cross? SG - Online is the way to go forward, any company who doesn’t go online is losing on something. So, everyone has a major presence online, they’re asking people to come, share and click, experience everything online. We have started (online presence) and we have some people who drive it. But we have to push our online team. We’ve already started online campaign for Altis (new), there’s a microsite developed individually for both the Altis (corollaaltis.in) and Etios Cross (etioscross.in).   CS - Other manufacturers like Nissan and Skoda have also chosen online as the medium to book cars. Is Toyota planning to take the same route? SG - No plans as of now do go online for booking cars etc. This model is still not tested. We have companies approaching us, but we’re still not convinced on this model. The main issue is commission model, will it go to the dealer or to the online company, that’s the main issue. This will be like taking away the dealers’ business. Selling cars online is yet to start in India. Unless you have a fool proof method of doing it, people in India still don’t want to buy online. The model has future, it is bound to follow US model, where both used and new cars are sold online, but there also 80pc of cars are sold through the brick-mortar model (touch and feel). http://www.carsizzler.com/rss_feed/interview-5 2014 Auspicious Season Might See An India Specific Rolls Royce http://www.carsizzler.com/interview-detail/007/2014-Auspicious-Season-Might-See-An-India-Specific-Rolls-Royce.html   “2014 Auspicious Season Might See An India Specific Rolls Royce”       ..says Herfried Hasenoehrl, GM of Emerging Markets in Asia, Rolls Royce Motor Cars in an exclusive interview with carsizzler.com. In a short but intriguing interview, Herfried talks about various possibilities that can take shape in near future; a Rolls Royce SUV, Wraith in a different bodystyle and growth in India. A must read for enthusiasts and buyers. Excerpts from the interview.     CS: What are our customers looking for in Rolls Royce Motor Cars?   HH: What they are looking for is, in this case, dynamism. What they’re looking for is comfort. What they are looking for is a silent interior for example. What they’re looking for is this craftsmanship they can experience in this car. So, this is what they want. Of course there are customers who are also interested in what is actually underneath the bonnet, what is under the body and they will get their answers.     CS: Rolls Royce cars now share some parts with BMW cars. How far does it matter to the customers, since they look for a completely different car from a brand like Rolls Royce?   HH: I personally doubt that it makes a massive difference in the purchasing decision if there’s a certain percentage of common parts or synergy, or if there’s a lesser percentage of it. Rolls Royce Motor Cars for now is a truly standalone motorcar company. There are some synergy parts, of course, it wouldn’t make sense not to have those. But see, what’s more important for comfort, the suspensions. The air suspensions on each corner of the Wraith, that’s the important feature, and you can’t put this in a car with the same platform for just another one. Some features in here might have been featured in other cars a bit earlier. But this is a truly unique and newly developed motorcar for Rolls Royce. It has outstanding standalone features. Will there be other cars in the future that’ll be completely standalone, don’t know right now. Will there be a common platform may be-may be not. Would it make sense? May be from a financial point of view.     CS: With the Wraith, Rolls Royce has come up with a new bodystyle, a GT. What all goes in before you finalize what your next luxury automobile will be?   HH: The biggest advantage RR Motor Cars have is that we sold anly about 3,542 cars last year. We are actually able to discuss requirements, wishes and expectations with our customers. We don’t sell to 5,00,000 people. Then, it would be impossible to get a proper feedback. But we do get a proper feedback, we do understand what they want. By the way, this (Wraith) is one of the result. We just didn’t go out and say, lets just come up with a fastback shape, and lets make some and then we wait to see if they buy it. It’s the other way around. We have the opportunity to talk to the customers, understand what they want and the Wraith is the result.     CS: There’s one segment that has seen a considerable growth worldwise, the SUVs. Other luxury carmakers are also deciding to foray in this segment. Does Rolls Royce also have an SUV at the back of their mind?   HH: From this innovative company, of course one could assume that analyzing market expectations and analyzing target group expectations is nearly done on a daily basis. We do this continuously and if the feedback is strong enough for a different body shape, we would certainly look into it and see, does it fit the brand, does it fit the perception, does it fit the expectation a customer has from a Rolls Royce and if all these boxes are ticked, then there is a possibility that it happens. But right now, nothing confirmed whatsoever.     CS: Can we expect another bodystyle in the Wraith? Maybe a top down like in the Phantom?   HH: Look at the history of Phantom It started in 2002-03, variants came along in 2005 to 2007-08. Now, without me being able to tell you what’s going to happen, it would be prudent to think that a success done with a Phantom model line-up, could be replicated with a Ghost lineup or any other model, be it Ghost, Wraith or any Rolls Royce standalone model. This (Wraith) is also not a Ghost coupe, it is a Wraith, because it is standalone. So, could there be another model line-up, sure there could be, no confirmation though from my side.     CS: India has been going through a rough patch as far as economy is concerned. Do you see potential in the market?   HH: Every country goes through one or the other testing times, but every country especially this one comes out stronger than before. It always has proven that way and therefore our optimism for this country is still unwavering and it is substantiated by what we see, by the orders we get. For us the Indian journey has been successful, it has been fun because of the diverse customers we have in this market.     CS: How different are the Indian customers when doing bespoke on Rolls Royce cars from the other markets?   HH: There is a very high level of bespoke in this market. Those who are in the market do understand what quality luxury individualization is all about. They do. Its not about the batch and the Spirit if Ecstacy on the bonnet. It’s really about, what is this car about, craftsmanship, quality, veneer, the parts, they do understand. Secondly, India is a very colourful country. And we have customers here from every corner of India and they have different tastes and they happen to bring this taste into the car.     CS: Does that mean, in future, are we looking at Rolls Royce making India specific cars?   HH: This is certainly on my list, yes. There will be, as of the timing, at this moment, I don’t have the timing yet because I want to wait for the right timing. We have waited for the Wraith launch for the right timing, we could have done it three months ago, would have not been the right timing. That’s for sure. Now is the right timing. India edition itself, it has to be the right time. It could be for the next auspicious season, could be, but I want it to be perfect. We must make sure it fits each and every territory, each and every taste of India. There will be one, right now, I cant tell you when. But there will be one and it will be magnificent. http://www.carsizzler.com/rss_feed/interview-6 Interview with KOJI NAGANO, Executive Design Director, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd http://www.carsizzler.com/interview-detail/006/Interview-with-KOJI-NAGANO--Executive-Design-Director--Nissan-Motor-Co---Ltd.html   "WE TRIED TO MAKE IT VERY SPORTY & FOCUSED ON MODERNITY..."   …said Executive Design Director, Nissan Motor Co. Ltd., KOJI NAGANO as he spoke his heart out in a roundtable meeting with CarSizzler. Excerpts from the interview.                                                                               Q) Will the new cars from Datsun’s portfolio be inspired from the earlier models? KOJI NAGANO :  To be honest, it is not related to any other Datsun. We wanted to design a different & new Datsun. New cars aren’t geometric in shape but have soft human touch and taste.     Q) Is the Datsun Go styled in India? KOJI NAGANO : Styling (for the Datsun Go) has happened in Japan and after styling we collaborated with our people in India.     Q) What was the mindset when you initiated the designing of the Datsun Go? KOJI NAGANO : We tried to make it very sporty & focused on the modernity of the vehicle as the Indians like sporty vehicles & focus on modernity.     Q) What were the key elements of challenge while designing? KOJI NAGANO :  (Designing the Go was) A lot of challenge. What is important & what should we prioritize? We knew the Indian (customers’) needs & we kept them as our priority.     Q) Did you work on the design of the Nissan Micra Active that was launched earlier this year? KOJI NAGANO :  No.     Q) There was a talk that the design of Micra is taken from the customers all over the world. Is that something you are following with Datsun as well? KOJI NAGANO :  It is going all over the World, in USA, India, and Japan with different challenges, different priorities as well as image. Micra is a global car as you said. We also collected all the information globally. Every part (of the World) has different needs & mindset. Datsun Go is just for India.     Q) Will the Datsun Go (the Indian version) be sold in other countries as well? KOJI NAGANO :  Datsun Go is going to be sold in India & some parts of Indonesia.     Q) When will the Go be available in other markets for sale? KOJI NAGANO :  Today I have to say that Datsun Go is for India. Probably it will go to other places but can’t tell you now as it is just the beginning.     Q) What modifications to the Indian version of the Go need to be made in order for it to be sold in Russia? KOJI NAGANO :  Experiments for Russia will be different from India as the weather conditions there are different.     Q) Does the Datsun Go share parts with other Nissan cars to make it cost competitive? KOJI NAGANO : Datsun Go is an original product but we are using some similar parts of Nissan cars but it has been customized for Indian Market.     Q) Is the car powered by the same 1.2 litre 3 cylinder engine? KOJI NAGANO : Yes. The engine is same.     Q) What purpose does the bench seat serve? KOJI NAGANO :  That is only for more space.     Q) Other manufacturers opt for tall cars to make them spacious. Can we see a Datsun following that route? KOJI NAGANO :  As a Design Director I would really like to keep the car in nice proportion. Nice aspects when we think of height. I don’t want to make it very tall. You should have enough roominess inside. So, the proportion of the vehicle is very important. I would like to make it authentic proportion. It is very first vehicle so I wanted it to be in proportion. http://www.carsizzler.com/rss_feed/interview-7