The clout of developing markets like India has made the decision makers in the auto industry the world over rethink their strategies. The dynamics of these markets are such that premium pricing can never churn volumes for the carmakers. On the flip side, bringing the prices down below a threshold would denigrate the image of these brands. So what do they do? Well, they create sub brands, or as in this case revive brands.
Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn has brought the rumormill to a halt with his official announcement that the company will indeed revive the Datsun brand for emerging markets. Nissan India have quickly arranged for a press conference for a repeat telecast of the announcement made by the Global CEO in India, as the country is the centerpiece of the strategic decision. Some other countries which are the primary targets of the new brand are Indonesia, Russia and some other Asian markets. The announcement has been accompanied with the unveiling of a brand new logo for the Datsun brand. The sales for the Datsun branded cars should commence from 2014.
According to an official Nissan Press Release, ‘Datsun will provide sustainable motoring experience to optimistic up-and-coming customers in high-growth markets.’ That’s a fancy way to paraphrase, ‘Datsun is a brand for the poor’. Even with their low cost, Datsun cars would still be spacious and fuel efficient according to Mr Ghosn.
Datsun would be Nissan’s third automotive brand, contrasting the premium Infiniti label. You’d be interested to know that Datsun was the brand name under which Nissan operated until adopting its current name back in 1981. Datsun used to be a very reputed brand at one point and has a history of more than 80 years in the automotive world.
In the Indian context, Nissan is expected to team up with Ashok Leyland to manufacture cars under the new brand name. The low cost cars may come out of Nissan’s existing facility at Oragadam near Chennai. We cannot be sure though, the JV may employ a new facility altogether for the new brand. Nissan Motor India Pvt Ltd MD & CEO Mr. Kiminobu Tokuyama will make the announcement on his global boss’s behalf in India today, at a press conference in Mumbai.