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Japanese auto manufacturer Nissan, could discontinue their Datsun brand across the world including India. The Datsun brand was re-launched to the world in 2013 and is currently being sold in emerging-markets India, Russia, Indonesia, South Africa; among others.
According to reports from Autocar India, Nissan is looking to close down the Datsun brand in a phased manner by 2022 across the world. Nissan had relaunched the Datsun to the world first in India by with Carlos Ghosn (former CEO Nissan) himself unveiled the Go hatchback at its world premiere in Delhi.
The GO hatchback got off to a poor start, because of issues between Nissan and Hover Automotive India (HAI). The Hover Automotive India was Nissan's distribution, sales and service partner in the country and issues between both the organization impacted sales network in the country.
Apart from the sales network, the GO hatchback has also suffered from the poor performance in Global NCAP tests, which reflected a bad image on both the hatchback and the Datsun brand as well.
The GO was followed by the new three-row GO+ compact-MPV and the redi-GO company's entry-level hatchback which was launched to rival the Renault's successful Kwid hatchback. However, the Renualt Kwid registered three times the sales as compared to Datsun redi-GO and failed to make an impact. These events have resulted in Nissan to shut shop on Datsun brand.
Apart from this, Nissan is also suffering from decreasing profits, and global sales being stagnant in the US and Europe markets, the sales in Asia has impacted because of Carlos Ghosn scandal, investments needed to develop and manufacture electric vehicle technology, and most of all a stagnant and aging product line-up with no new models introduced.
The Japanese auto manufacturer in July had announced a programme to resurrect the brand across the world by reducing the capacity and model range. This would result in 12,500 job cuts across 14 countries including in India. In May 2019, the company reported the lowest profit figure since the year 2009-2010. Nissan registered a net annual profits of about Rs 20,000 crore, which is 5% lower than the previous year.
Nissan, is said to be working on a ‘performance recovery plan', with an aim to focus more on the US and China markets. The brand is expected to officially reveal the expansive global growth plan later this month, with Datsun brand being discontinued.
However, Peyman Kargar, Senior Vice President, Global Datsun Business Unit, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. confirmed that the redi-GO hatchback will be launched with a BS-IV compliant engine in March 2020 and will feature a huge improvement over the current model. Also, the GO and GO+ just got launched with a CVT automatic transmission as well. This indicated that the Datsun model will stay for a while.
Thoughts About The Nissan To Discontinue Datsun Brand
Nissan had resurrected Datsun after being discontinued in 1986. However, Nissan would like to cut their losses and give up the brand in a hope to perform better globally. Nissan's plan to phase the Datsun brand out and not to discontinue immediately is a commendable one. With the top officials from Datsun confirming that the redi-GO will be launched with a BS-IV compliant engine could be the brand's last hoorah!