Having fallen short of sales expectations in India, Nissan’s budget brand Datsun is looking at de-risking its operations by commencing exports to emerging markets in Africa, Southeast Asia and SAARC countries. The export operations are expected to start in the near future.
Talking to Economic Times, Vincent Cobee, global head of Datsun brand, stated that in the short term, 10 – 15 export markets could be considered. Eventually, the Chennai plant could export Datsun cars to over 20 countries. He is counting on both domestic and export operations to grow in the coming years and expects exports to contribute to one third of Datsun India’s net sales.
Mr. Cobee says that the new geographical coverage of the auto market across the world is driven by the rise of middle class people who prefer a car in the USD 10,000 (around INR 6.5 lakhs) price segment. Since Nissan is not present in that segment, the expansion into new territories would be primarily handled by Datsun, resulting in incremental sales.
The budget brand which was relaunched with India, Indonesia, Russia and South Africa as a primary markets has managed to exceed internal expectations in Indonesia and South Africa but the story is different in India and Russia. However, the company says that both Go and Go Plus MPV managed to score high on customer satisfaction in the sub-continent.
The Datsun Go-Cross compact crossover which was unveiled at Tokyo last week in the form of a near production concept and the upcoming redi-Go small car would be playing a crucial role in adding momentum to the brand’s sales in India and other markets.