Nissan to continue selling Datsun cars in India, South Africa and Pakistan
Nissan Motor was recently rumoured to be considering shutting down its low-cost arm, Datsun. In a new development, a news outlet has reported that the Datsun brand will be discontinued only in Russia and Indonesia next year. The Russian unit manufacturers cars for Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus and Lebanon, via AutoVAZ, a Renault subsidiary. The Indonesian unit supplies to South East Asia. The Datsun brand is also available in India and South Africa, production here will remain unaffected. Also, the brand is set to be introduced in Pakistan.
In fact, a new model is planned for India. This could be a new sub-four-metre SUV, as previewed by the Datsun Cross. This is a more rugged version of the Datsun Go+ MPV already on sale here.
Datsun is a bit player in the bigger scheme of things for Nissan. Globally, it accounts for 1 percent of the firm's sales. The brand is a legacy of ousted former chief Carlos Ghosn who had made a big push into emerging markets.
The Datsun brand was launched in 2014 to develop cost-effective models in emerging markets like India, Indonesia, Russia and South Africa. The plan was to complement the Nissan brand's more premium offerings in this market but in many cases, the Datsun brand underperformed or ate into Nissan's sales, reports say.
This move is part of a larger plan to recover from the after-effects of the Ghosn crisis and falling profits. Alongside this move, the company is also looking to trim unprofitable models and cut unused production capacity in plants.
Source: Nikkei Asian Review