The Indian unit of Japan based leading car maker Nissan Motors has launched the diesel variant of its compact hatchback Micra in the Indian market. The new model has been put in the price bracket of 559,000 rupees to 605,000 rupees. (ex-showroom Delhi).

The car powered by a 1.5-litre diesel engine, giving 64 PS power, the car will be available in two variants with five speed manual transmissions, delivering a fuel economy of 23.08 km a litre, the carmaker said in a statement.

The success of petrol powered Micra in the domestic market has given us huge confidence to introduce the diesel powered Micra within six months from the petrol version . The diesel powered Micra with its best in class fuel efficiency and unique features have the potential to crave a niche for itself in the overcrowded compact hatchback segment in India, Nissan Motor India Managing Director and CEO Kiminobu Tokuyama said.

Earlier, in July this year, the company had rolled-out the Micra hatchback in petrol version  and sold  over 6,000 units of petrol version of Micra in the Indian market.

The company plans to export the petrol Micra to as many as 100 foreign markets by Oct 2011. The export to these countries will be commenced after meeting the demand for this car in the Indian market by ramping-up the annual production of Micra to 2,00,000 units. Importantly, there are no export plans for the Diesel Micra, it added.

Nissan formed the 50:50 joint venture with French automaker Renault to set up a manufacturing plant at Oragadam near Chennai with an upfront investment of 23,000 million rupees (about $500 million).