THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: It seems the Nissan Motor Co, Ltd, one of the world’s largest car makers which launched its first global research hub in Thiruvananthapuram to develop futuristic driverless cars and electric vehicles, is reviewing its decision of setting up a permanent campus in Thiruvanathapuram and moving to a rented campus. Though, the reasons behind the move is in the domain of speculations, Nissan sources maintain that the move is to speed-up its expansion plans.
According to sources, the auto major which functions from a rented facility at Technopark Phase-three has sought an under-construction building at Kinfra Film and Video Park campus, Kazhakootam in Thiruvanathapuram with around 4 lakh sq feet plinth area. Once the building is completed, the auto major will switch its base to this campus from Technopark. It may also take over another under construction building in the campus with 4 lakh sq feet area for its next phase of expansion.
M Sivasankar, Secretary to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan confirming the development said “We don’t know why they have decided to move on to a rented campus, but the state government has communicated its readiness to provide them space.” He further said that the company had not permanently shelved its idea of setting up a permanent campus at Technocity where it was allotted 30 acres of land.
“Since they would be going for an expansion immediately, we understand they thought to shift to a rented campus from the current facility until permanent investment is made in Technocity,” he said.
Earlier, there were reports that Nissan was upset with the state government over the delay in honouring its MoU promises. However, Sivasankar, who is also the IT secretary, said that the state government was fully cooperating with the auto major. “The state government has allotted 30 acres of land as sought by Nissan for setting up a permanent campus in the first phase and agreed to provide another 40 acres in the second phase with first right of refusal which is mainly for accommodating companies related to its digital hub,” he said.
When contacted, sources close to Nissan said it was just timing issue. “To build a full campus takes many years. We can’t wait. So government is helping us with that. Further, switching to a rented campus doesn’t mean that the company is dropping other plans.”
The company is expected to generate 3000 direct and more indirect employment opportunities in Kerala once fully expanded. It is going ahead with this target in mind.