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.