The Datsun brand may soon arrive in Africa. Nissan Motor Co. is considering the move in order to be more competitive against Indian and Chinese automakers when it comes to attracting the middle-class consumers, according to a senior executive. Nissan thinks that Africa is a market that’s becoming gradually more significant as it is growing quickly.
Nissan has revealed plans to spend over $122 million to double its production capacity in South Africa, according to Autonews. Nissan revealed months ago that it will be reviving Datsun in Indonesia, India and Russia, to attract first-time buyers in growing markets. But a cheap entry-level vehicle is necessary to widen their market share in Africa’s low-income consumers.
Toshiyuki Shiga addressed reporters during a briefing at Nissan’s plant in Rosslyn, outside Pretoria. He told them that the automakers based in Korea, India, and China are acting more aggressively in the emerging markets. However, Shiga said that they’re still studying the plan and so no decision has been made yet.
Nissan’s rivals like Tata Motors (India) and Geely Automobile Holdings (China) have more experience in low-income markets than Nissan or Japanese automakers such as Toyota Motor Corp. Nissan sells its Micra unit in South Africa for about 110,000 rand ($13,400) – a high price in a country where almost 40% of the population survive on less than $3 a day. Geely's entry-level LC sells in South Africa with a starting price of about 95,000 rand.