Earlier this month, Nissan had announced launch of Datsun brand in South Africa. The first car to be launched under Datsun, will be the five seater Go hatchback, which is designed for first time buyers in the country. It will be priced from 100,000 Rand ($9,300 ,INR 5,60,000). At the launch, Datsun had said that they will have to import Go hatchback from India initially, and begin local production at a later stage.
However, despite these extensive plans well in place, unfavourable labour conditions and strikes could work against Nissan, where local production of Datsun cars in South Africa is concerned. Nissan had expected that company’s Rosslyn assembly plant situated on outskirts of Pretoria will be manufacturing base for Datsun Go. Nissan was to share this facility with Renault which recently ended assembly of the Sandero car range in South Africa.
Local production of the Go would have been more feasible, but last year the South African auto industry suffered strikes at assembly plants and suppliers halted production for several weeks with losses running into billions of Rand. These constraints, coupled with rising threat from the steel and engineering companies has made Nissan put-of local production with the Datsun, and continue importing the same from their factory in Chennai, India.
Besides the base in South Africa, Nissan-Renault also share assembly plants in Egypt and Morocco while Nigeria is a recent entrant. The South Africa spec Datsun Go will see the same 1.2 liter petrol engine doing duty as is seen on its Indian counterpart. This engine is capable of 67 bhp peak power and 104 Nm peak torque mated to a 5 speed manual transmission. (Read Datsun Go Review)
Nissan has already appointed 30 dealerships in South Africa for sales of the new Go hatch. These showrooms have been branded Datsun and are expected to double in the next few years.
via BD Live