Nissan may advance launch of 3rd Datsun vehicle in India

Japanese auto major Nissan will miss its target of achieving 10 per cent market share in India by 2016 but may advance the launch of a third vehicle from its Datsun brand in the country to propel growth.

The company that last week launched a compact multi- purpose vehicle Go+ to add to the Go small car will expand its network in small towns to boost sales of its Datsun brand of vehicles.

“The target we announced about getting 10 per cent market share in India is still our dream but 2016 is just round the corner. So we will have to go step by step. How long will we take to reach there? Cannot say at the moment,” Corporate Vice-President & Global Head of Datsun Vincent Cobee told PTI.

Last year, when Nissan launched the Datsun Go in India, marking the global comeback of the brand after nearly three decades, it had said that it was aiming to garner 10 per cent share in the Indian passenger vehicles market by 2016.

So far in the April-December period this fiscal, according to Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) passenger vehicle sales were at 18,94,932 units, up 3.67 per cent from 18,27,866 units in the same period last fiscal.

Nissan’s total passenger vehicle sales during the same period this fiscal stood at 35,042 units as against 23,927 units in the year-ago period.

Cobee said the last 10 months since the launch of Datsun Go have been a learning process in India and the company was now planning to get to the next level.

“We have been constantly learning, and establishing a new brand in the market takes time but we are confident of the Datsun brand doing well in India. So we could advance the launch of the third vehicle from Datsun before 2017, as originally planned,” he said.

Nissan’s sales network, which also retails the Datsun vehicles, will be doubled in the next two years from the current 158.

“Datsun vehicles will primarily target smaller towns and peripheries of bigger cities,” Cobee said, adding that at showrooms in such places Datsun would account for about 70-80 per cent space dominance with the Nissan brand taking up the rest and vice versa in bigger cities.

Apart from Datsun brand, Nissan sells SUV Terrano, mid- sized sedan Sunny and compact car Micra, among others.

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