Datsun Returns, Officially
When, some seven weeks ago, the Nikkei had the rumor that Nissan would revive its Datsun brand for low cost cars, targeted at emerging markets, official sources at Nissan – not surprisingly – had no comment.
One not so charitable source at Nissan conceded that “this time, the Nikkei is less on crack than sometimes.” Another more diplomatic source said: ”I guess you can expect a press release soon.”
That press release arrived today.
Nissan CEO Carlos Ghson was in Indonesia yesterday, and, says the press release:
“While talking to the media, Ghosn announced the return of the Datsun brand, Nissan’s third global brand, alongside Nissan and Infiniti. Datsun will provide sustainable motoring experience to optimistic up-and-coming customers in high-growth markets. Datsun represents 80 years of accumulated Japanese carmaking expertise and is a important part of Nissan’s DNA. Datsun vehicles will start sales in India, Indonesia, and Russia from 2014.”
According to Reuters, “Nissan plans to invest $400 million in Indonesia over the next two years, will double hiring by 2014 and triple its dealerships in Southeast Asia’s largest economy to 90,000.” (The latter will probably see a correction.)
Indonesia, a country of 237 million spread over more than 17,000 islands, is one of the growth markets in South-East Asia. Due to its proximity, this market is in the cross-hairs of Japanese makers. Toyota currently owns 90 percent of the market. Nissan wants to change this.
Bertel Schmitt comes back to journalism after taking a 35 year break in advertising and marketing. He ran and owned advertising agencies in Duesseldorf, Germany, and New York City. Volkswagen A.G. was Bertel's most important corporate account. Schmitt's advertising and marketing career touched many corners of the industry with a special focus on automotive products and services. Since 2004, he lives in Japan and China with his wife <a href="http://www.tomokoandbertel.com"> Tomoko </a>. Bertel Schmitt is a founding board member of the <a href="http://www.offshoresuperseries.com"> Offshore Super Series </a>, an American offshore powerboat racing organization. He is co-owner of the racing team Typhoon.
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