By on October 15, 2014

Datsun mi-Do 01

Last year, Renault-Nissan resurrected Datsun, positioning the brand for emerging markets — like India, Russia and Indonesia — with a portfolio of models that would attract new, young consumers whose wallets were a bit thin.

It’s not quite working out thus far.

Bloomberg reports deliveries of the Go hatchback in India have fallen in three of the previous four months through this August, with only 607 units leaving the lot in July, briefly dipping below the sales rate of the Tata Nano in the same month. Further, from its debut in March through August, a total of 9,557 of the ₹312,270 ($5,100 USD) Gos found their way into Indian garages.

Meanwhile, Russian sales will take a hit thanks to the ongoing geopolitical Cold War retro revival delivering a two-pronged attack upon the market, with sanctions by Western states on one side, the spectre of recession along the other. According to IHS Automotive, sales may fall to a decade-low of 9 percent by the time 2015 rolls around.

Finally, Datsun has moved 6,400 Go+ Pancas thus far in FY 2014, with the goal set for 40,000 units sold by the end of March 2015. The brand recently began accepting orders for the Go hatch, while Nissan believes it can hit the mark within the year.

India may prove to be the toughest market for the upstart brand, as those interested in a new car would rather pay more than be seen in something considered “cheap.” That said, sales could pick up during the country’s festival season, which began last month and is set to end in November. Additionally, Datsun corporate vice president Vincent Cobee acknowledged that it would take a while for a new-car buyer to consider a new brand over an established one, even if they are paying $10,000 or less for the vehicle.

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13 Comments on “Datsun Dealing With Low Sales In Emerging Markets...”

  • avatar
    Athos Nobile

    For being an “emerging markets” car, doesn’t look bad.

    • 0 avatar

      its a quite jacked up for a hatch which is good (i suppose indian roads arent great)

      The Datsun Go+ MPV wagonette looks great for what it is… give it a Nissan offcut automatic and sell it for aud$9,999 and they will fly out.. dunno about the lack of airbags and esc/dsc/abs etc.

    • 0 avatar

      Agree, nice greenhouse due to the lower beltline and a decent ride height.

      Were this to come to NA I’d absolutely give it a test drive.

    • 0 avatar

      Actually, it is that bad, the quality is just very poor compared to the other “Low Cost Green Car” we have here.

      For a starter, the front seats are bench seat, no head unit on basic model, fabric material is very poorly stitched, the dashboard which plastic, really felt very cheap, it has a big hole instead of glove box, no tachometer, the handbrake uses pull mechanism like early 80’s trucks. Its so bad, u would have to see it for yourself to believe me. I don’t usually disrespect a product, but you should see for yourself.

      It could be that i’ve been seeing the bad apple of the production, if that was the case than i apologize.

      The Toyota Agya and Daihatsu Alya duo is much better in respect of build quality and overall perceived brand image.

      The Honda Brio are light years ahead in terms of engine, transmission and chassis refinement while the interior quality is only marginally better than the Toyota and Daihatsu duo.

      Even the Suzuki with its Indian derived Wagon R is still better in terms of build quality, service and brand image.

      The only good thing of the Datsun Go+ is it seats 7 ( honestly its like 5+2 ) rear seat is a torture. The engine is 1.2L triple pot from Nissan March which is good.

      Not much can be said about this car honestly, and i wont be surprised if it doesn’t sell. Perhaps they don’t want it to sell coz it will eats up Nissan March’s market share.

      • 0 avatar

        I’d still give it a try.

        Visibility and ride height in a small care are rear & precious in NA.

      • 0 avatar

        That explains it. Here (brazil), makers have tried that route over and over. Cars without a passenger side mirror, hole for gloveboxes, seats that don’t recline. It never works. Seems like there is a limit to what can be done. Renault-Nissan got it right with Dacia. Simple, yeah, but more conventional design and all is there in terms of equipment and everything else. One must not need feel so left out. Datsun may have taken it a step too far it would seem.

    • 0 avatar

      It seems Nissan and Renault design a good car and then someone comes with the ugly-stick and adds artistic features that also decrease interior space.

      For Datsun they don’t have budget for the ugly-stick.

  • avatar

    cant be much worse than the Nissan Xtrail/Rogue 7 seater right? right? come on people

  • avatar

    Am I overly dense, or does it make absolutely no sense to take a brand with at least some modicum of brand equity left in existing markets, and reintroducing it in markets where it has none? Only to drive the stake even further, by using the brand to launch extremely cheap cars, seemingly purpose built to sully whatever value and goodwill the brand might still have.

    If you’re going to sell cheap cars to consumers with no preexisting bias due simply to lack of exposure to car brands, why not build a name from scratch.

    Heck, half the hipsters in San Francisco would pay Fiat 500 grade markups for a chance to drive a hippie era Datsun, over a yuppie era Nissan. And the remaining half wouldn’t be caught dead owning a car, period. So why sully whatever equity still left, by wasting it on people who couldn’t care less if the car was named Datsun or Bingo.

    • 0 avatar

      The problem is that mainstream prices in the West are very high by the standards of the developing world. What they’re trying to do is to sell cheap cars while protecting the brand equity of the Nissan badge.

      What name to use for the cheap brand is debatable, but there is a case to be made for some kind of rebranding. (I can also think of arguments against it. Personally, I would have gone downmarket with Nissan — perhaps using a sub-brand of sorts to keep it in the family — but nobody at Nissan corporate called to ask.)

  • avatar

    Bingo is too easily mistaken for Bongo, which was taken.

  • avatar

    ha ha.

    its all about product positioning.

    Think about it:

    manual trans.
    no ac
    rollup windows
    strap for door closing
    very thinly padded seats
    no nav center

    for 3rd world they go ‘oh that looks cheap”
    (love bench seats- who didnt get laid on those?}

    here we go fuck ya, stripped out Porsche or other tunable platform AND we have to PAY to get the A/C delete. We are getting hard over those 2 datsuns coming over here- every second question is “can be a good rally or tuner car?”

    That’s were the marketing is going wrong- they have to approach it as a tuner car, simple to customize that happens to be cheap.

    a la those crazy custom indian buses;

  • avatar

    Given their crash test rating I assume they aren’t looking for repeat clients

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