We have kept you updated with the news of Nissan mulling over its brand Datsun for bringing an entry level car in India, and today, at a conference in Mumbai, Nissan green signalled the Datsun brand.
Nissan Global CEO Carlso Ghosn announced a modern Datsun brand that holds its heritage of quality and reliability with reasonable price. According to Ghosn, Nissan has introduced the Datsun brand for first time vehicle buyers, who now get a low cost, modern car with all top-notch features. This is a strategic move by Nissan to capture the small car market, at the same time holding back the original Nissan brand name.
At the conference, the officials also announced that the cars will be designed to meet the core needs of the country. This means, the cars will employ high localization of parts with local engineering and expand its local network. For the initial stage, Datsun brand will be introduced in three markets, India, Indonesia and Russia with no reports on exports yet. Though the cars will be engineered locally, Nissan confirmed that the first two products won’t be assembled at the Orogadam plant in Chennai.
Starting in 2014, Nissan will launch its first two products and carry on this rate for first three years. The first phase will be launched in emerging markets, India, Indonesia and Russia. Designed for the entry level buyer, the cars will be priced below Rs 4 lacs.
There is no word on power or design yet, but the cars will carry a hexagonal front grille with the Datsun badge. Under the hood, the entry level model is expected to carry a 1.0-litre engine, and Nissan will make extensive use of light-weight material for body to boost performance and improve fuel efficiency figure.
The Japanese automaker is going to have a tough time to build the brand name in the emerging markets. However, Nissan is going to continue managing the brand like the Nissan-Infinity venture.
Important points from the conference:
- Nissan targets 8 percent market share by 2016, with 8 percent profit rise.
- Nissan sold 284,000 units of V-platform based Sedan globally, including Brazil, Mexico, Russia and China.
- Dealership expanded to 60 in India.
- Global expansion of production capacity, with Orogadam plant capacity now increased to 4 lacs from 2 lacs.
- Datsun will be a different lineup from Nissan with no platform sharing.
- Targeting sub-4lac segment.
- Two models launched per year for the first three years.
- Datsun carries its heritage as Accessible, Reliable, Powerful, Stylish, low cost car, while introducing itself with a new face as a modern car.
- Country specific vehicles with local parts and local engineering.
- For Indonesia, car will be design as per Green car program, which could make up for 40 percent of the Indonesia market.
- Management will continue to be Nissan’s, whereas new plant might be set up for the product lineup.