By APA Bureau:
Datsun, the car that had its parent Nissan’s vision, Dream, Access and Trust, recently crossed an important milestone. Nissan rolled out the 100,000th Datsun, a redi-GO 1.0L, recently from its plant in Oragadam, near Chennai, India,in the presence of Jerome Saigot, Managing Director, Nissan Motor India Private Limited, and Colin MacDonald, CEO and Managing Director, Renault Nissan Automotive India Private Limited.
Datsun was conceptualised to target 50 percent of the Total Industry Volume (TIV) in India, which was expected to double by 2016 from the 2010 level. The TIV in fiscal 2016 was 34,65,045. Nissan had no product in high-growth sub-Rs4 lakh segment and it structured Datsun to fill the void and target customers aspiring for new and specific products and services.
Eventually it boiled down to the first time buyers looking for class mobility. Datsun GO was based on three major objectives: modern, entry- level family car, fuel-efficiency and accessible price. The car was developed from scratch in Chennai leveraging the local engineering competencies to meet the requirements of other emerging markets. It was meant to be a new growth driver for Nissan, in India, Russia, Brazil and South Africa. Later the company was planning to enter the mature markets if the middle-class there also nurtured similar aspirations.
The car, to which the suppliers were selected not only based on commercial cost but on their ability to work with the company based on ‘Design to Cost,’ notched up sales of close to 7,000 units during the past one year in India.
At the roll-out ceremony Saigot said that the company is ramping up the exclusive dealer network for Datsun brand in small towns, as the demand from those pockets have been growing. The company has about 100 outlets for the Datsun brand, which are in addition to the 275 touch points of Nissan.
“We started this fiscal with 52 Datsun outlets, and our aim is to increase the number of outlets to 150 by the end of this fiscal. The new outlets will come mostly in Tier-2 and Tier-3 locations,” he said.
Since the launch of the Datsun redi-GO in June 2016, Datsun India has offered three refreshed variants for its customers- the redi-GO Sport in September 2016, the redi-GO 1.0L in July 2017 and the recently launched redi-GO 1.0L Gold in October 2017. According to Saigot Datsun contributes about 50 percent to Nissan’s sales in India, primarily due to its price factor. Moreover, the customers of Datsun redi-GO get the ‘Datsun Care’ comprehensive service package at a lower price.
“The 100,000th roll-out of Datsun is a strong testimony of customer acceptance and their confidence towards our brand, products and value based offerings. Over the last three years, the customer response to Datsun portfolio which includes the GO, GO+ and redi-GO has been encouraging,” he said.
“We are very confident that the future is bright and exciting for the Datsun brand in India. We are confident that our challenger brand positioning, unique product differentiation and best-in-class cost of ownership will continue to drive the customer’s owning and experiencing our products,” Saigot said.
MacDonald said the installed capacity of the Oragadam facility,that belongs to Renault Nissan alliance, is 4.8-lakh units annually based on three shifts. The plant’s capacity utilisation fell to 55 percent this year from 65 per cent in 2016-17 due to the shift in the export of Micra cars to Europe from this factory to a facility in France.