Nissan brought to life its Datsun as a budget brand and it wanted to follow the same strategy Tata Motors used for its Nano a.k.a. the cheapest car on the market. Still, the Tata Nano was priced at $2,500 while the Datsun Go hatchback starts at $5,100 in India.
Despite the low price, Datsun vehicles are not quite successful at it seems that a cheaper price doesn’t guarantee impressive sales, although the Indian car demand is growing. According to Bloomberg, India is a tough market for the Datsun brand as its sales dipped below those of the Nano in July, while in Indonesia the company needs to improve its numbers in order to meet the full-year target.
Russia is another important market for Datsun, but as you may know already the political crisis is affecting also the auto industry. Deepesh Rathore, director at Emerging Markets Automotive Advisors in New Delhi said that Datsun is affected in India by the same factors that resulted in Tata Nano’s failure.
Apparently, many car buyers want to be seen driving cars that are not cheap. Datsun managed to sell only 607 units in July, which represents a 77 percent drop from their peak in April.
In an interview back in September, Trevor Mann a.k.a. the company’s top executive in charge of Datsun said that it is too early to judge Datsun’s performance and everything is going as planned. Datsun is expecting an increase in its Indian market share of 10 percent by 2016, which means that it is still time to see some really impressive sales numbers there. [source: Bloomberg.com]