Auto components India - - CONTENTS - Story by: Ramya Srini­vasan ACI

Mercedes-Benz launches pow­er­ful AMG CLA 45, GLA 45 4MATIC Nis­san rolls out 100,000th ‘Dat­sun’ car from Chen­nai plant Royal En­field unveils 650cc Par­al­lel Twin en­gine Ashok Ley­land takes the sea route to ex­port trucks to Bangladesh

The Ja­panese auto-maker Nis­san re­vived Dat­sun brand in In­dia in 2013, af­ter al­most 3 decades. In 2014, the brand rolled out its first car ‘Dat­sun GO’, tar­get­ing the first-time car buy­ers in In­dia. Later in 2015, Dat­sun GO+ was launched and it was In­dia’s first com­pact fam­ily wagon. To at­tract the young cus­tomers, Dat­sun in 2016, launched redi-GO, In­dia’s first ur­ban cross in the seg­ment. Dat­sun’s prod­ucts com­pete with Maruti Suzuki Alto and Wagon-R, Re­nault Kwid and Hyundai Eon.

On Novem­ber 9, 2017, Nis­san flagged off its 100,000th Dat­sun car from its Ora­gadam fa­cil­ity near Chen­nai. In­dia was the first mar­ket that Nis­san brought its made-over Dat­sun; fol­lowed by Indonesia, Russia and South Africa. The roundthe-clock ac­tu­a­tion of Dat­sun cars, in­flated the brand’s rep­u­ta­tion in the In­dian mar­ket.

“The roll out of Dat­sun’s 100,000th car is a firm ev­i­dence of cus­tomer ac­cep­tance and their as­sur­ance to­wards our brand, prod­ucts and value-based of­fer­ings. On be­half of the Dat­sun In­dia team, I would like to thank all our cus­tomers and dealer part­ners for the com­mit­ment to­wards our brand. Our plat­form is very suc­cess­ful as we are suc­cess­ful in both the brands. We have brand new de­sign and pro­duc­tion fa­cil­ity,” Jerome Saigot, Man­ag­ing Direc­tor, Nis­san Motor In­dia, said.

“Dat­sun brand con­trib­utes about 50% to Nis­san’s sales in In­dia, and dur­ing this fes­tive time of the year, Nis­san de­liv­ered 3,200 units of rediGO. The main suc­cess of redi-GO is its price. Dat­sun redi-GO cus­tomers can get the Dat­sun Care allinclu­sive ser­vice pack­age at a lower price now,” Colin MacDonald, CEO and Man­ag­ing Direc­tor, Re­nault Nis­san Au­to­mo­tive In­dia Pri­vate Lim­ited, said.

By the in­creased sales of Dat­sun brand cars in Tier-2 and 3 cities, the com­pany will en­hance the num­ber of its Dat­sun brand show­rooms to

150 by this fis­cal-end. The com­pany has so far set up close to 100 out­lets for the Dat­sun brand of com­pact cars, in­clud­ing Go, Go+ and redi-GO – these out­lets are in ad­di­tion to the 275 touch points of Nis­san.

“We will add stand­alone Dat­sun brand show­rooms to 150 by this fis­cal-end. Dat­sun is not a sub-brand of Nis­san. Dat­sun is an af­ford­able brand, not a cheap brand, while Nis­san is an ex­cit­ing brand. The sales of the model in Tier-2 and 3 cities is high due to the over­all pack­age i.e. price, cost of own­er­ship and com­pet­i­tive re­tail fi­nance,” Saigot said.

The Ora­gadam plant’s ca­pac­ity util­i­sa­tion fell to 55% this year from 65% in 2016-17. This is mainly be­cause of shift­ing the pro­duc­tion of the new Mi­cra to Europe. “Our sus­cep­ti­bil­ity util­i­sa­tion has ab­lated to 55% ow­ing to the trans­mu­ta­tion in the ex­port of Mi­cra cars from the Chen­nai plant to a fac­tory in France. We are pe­ri­od­i­cally chang­ing some of our model, al­lo­ca­tions and de­ci­sions so that we can get suf­fi­cient util­i­sa­tion across all the plants which is an ap­par­ent in­dus­trial strat­egy. Go­ing for­ward, when we look at our fu­ture am­bi­tions, we need more ca­pac­ity in In­dia. It is not a ran­dom de­ci­sion taken in iso­la­tion, it’s clear with the vol­umes and line up for the com­ing years. Do­mes­tic mar­ket will com­pen­sate the loss in the fu­ture and we also an­tic­i­pate more ex­ports. The new reg­u­la­tions in the In­dian au­to­mo­tive in­dus­try are a kind of nor­mal evo­lu­tion for our com­pany. Though BS-VI tran­si­tion will be smoother, it will be a chal­leng­ing one as we have to trans­form ev­ery model, en­gine and trans­mis­sion com­bi­na­tion be­fore the dead­line. So, the ex­e­cu­tion of plan will be quite chal­leng­ing,” MacDonald said.

Dur­ing the first-half of this fis­cal, Nis­san’s over­all do­mes­tic pas­sen­ger ve­hi­cle (in­clud­ing cars and SUVs) sales stood at 26,650 units, down 8% com­pared to the year-ago pe­riod. Nis­san has set a mark to earn a share of 5% in the In­dian mar­ket by 2020, aided pri­mar­ily by the Dat­sun brand of cars. The com­pany is also gear­ing up to es­tab­lish the au­to­matic vari­ant of its small car, redi-GO, in early 2018, while new launches un­der the Nis­san brand will also come in the first-half. The 2 mod­els that are man­u­fac­tured un­der CMF-A are 100% lo­calised. Some of the au­to­mo­tive parts for Brazil op­er­a­tion are also sourced from In­dia. So, it is a win for the sup­plier base.

“Our vi­sion for 2020 is to grab 5% mar­ket share for both the brands. With the clear strat­egy of brand sep­a­ra­tion, we will achieve our vi­sion by 2020. For Nis­san, we have more prod­ucts in pipe­line for the de­mand­ing In­dian mar­ket. Our cur­rent mar­ket share is 1.7% for both the brands, 1.34% is held by Dat­sun and 0.4% for Nis­san. In South Africa, we have re­cently launched Dat­sun GO+ and we are sell­ing 700 cars a month. In Sri Lanka, we are sell­ing Dat­sun redi-GO. We are very con­fi­dent that the fu­ture is bright and ex­cit­ing for the Dat­sun brand in In­dia. Our brand po­si­tion­ing, unique prod­uct dif­fer­en­ti­a­tion and best-in­class cost of own­er­ship will con­tinue to drive the cus­tomer’s own­ing and ex­pe­ri­enc­ing our prod­ucts,” Saigot said.

Colin MacDonald, CEO & Man­ag­ing Direc­tor, Re­nault Nis­san Au­to­mo­tive In­dia Pri­vate Lim­ited and Jerome Saigot, Man­ag­ing Direc­tor, Nis­san Motor In­dia Pvt. Ltd along with Dat­sun’s 100,000th car

The first Dat­sun GO rolled off the pro­duc­tion line at the Re­nault Nis­san Al­liance plant in Ora­gadam, near Chen­nai, on Fe­bru­ary 4, 2014.

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