The Japanese automaker’s target to capture a 10% share of passenger car market of India by 2017 might be delayed because of slumping domestic vehicle sales in a slowing economy, the head of Nissan Motor Company’s local unit said on Wednesday. The local car market is bracing for a second year of falling sales hit by high fuel costs and interest rates. The company held 1.4% share of local passenger car market at end-February industry, data showed. Kenichiro Yomura, President at Nissan India said we are reviewing our midterm plan. “I don’t know. It could be later,” he said, when asked if the company was on track to achieve its market share target for India.
The Japanese automaker still hopes to achieve double-digit market share in the country; however the timing is under debate given the manufacturer’s current market conditions and performance. His comments come after Nissan last month said it would be willing to fall short of its international market share target of 8% by end-March 2017 in order to ensure it meets an 8% operating profit margin goal for the same period. Nissan Motor Company is hoping its low-cost Datsun brand, resurrected after 30 years to drive growth in emerging markets, will helps its sales in India. On Wednesday, it said it would start selling its first Datsun Go, its first model from $5100 in the country, where the brand makes its debut ahead of other emerging markets.
The Datsun Go will range from Rs. 312,270 to Rs. 369.999 and will compete in India’s crowded small car market, which includes top automaker Maruti Suzuki’s famous Alto 800 hatchback, which starts at Rs. 276,000. Abdul Majeed, a partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers India said if I just look at it from initial pricing point of view, it looks pretty competitive. Datsun vehicles will be marketed in South Africa, Russia and Indonesia later this year.