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Datsun's Second Life Isn't So Good, After All
BusinessWeek.com
By Siddharth Philip
October 16, 2014


Before Alisha Gracias, a 26-year-old physiotherapist in the western Indian state of Goa, bought her first car in April, she looked at a lot of different models. Among them was the new 312,270 rupees ($5,084) Go hatchback from Datsun, the nameplate that Nissan (7201:JP) brought out of hibernation in 2013 to churn out inexpensive no-frills cars in emerging markets. Although Gracias was familiar with the model, she wasn’t smitten. Instead, she paid almost 50 percent more than the top-end version of the Go to buy a Grand i10 made by Hyundai (005380:KS). That vehicle’s bells and whistles, including Bluetooth connectivity, dual air bags, antilock brakes, rear parking sensors, and power mirrors, were among the factors that led to her choice. “Besides,” Gracias says, “I didn’t like the looks of the Datsun.”

As Gracias’s cool reception shows, cheaper prices don’t guarantee success in emerging markets—even in a country where most people earn less than $2 a day. Tata Motors (TTM) learned that in 2009 when its then-$2,500 Nano failed to gain traction across the subcontinent. The Nano’s total sales in its first five years were less than the company’s one-year production capacity. For Nissan Chief Executive Officer Carlos Ghosn, failure to make Datsun a success could threaten his ability to deliver on a pledge to investors to raise Nissan’s global market share by a third, to 8 percent, by March 2017.

“The same factors that resulted in the Nano’s failure are the ones that are leading to disappointing sales at Datsun,” says Deepesh Rathore, director at Emerging Markets Automotive Advisors in New Delhi. Many car buyers are status-conscious, he says, and “want to be seen driving cars that are not ‘cheap.’ ”

More at link: http://www.businessweek.com/article...rkets-revival-datsun-cars-viewed-as-too-cheap
 

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I was just wondering how Nissan's relaunch of Datsun was going. I will agree that they will need years to build brand awareness, just like Cadillac. However, Mr. Ghosn expects that awareness to be built up in 3 years to increase Nissan's global market share by a third? Never going to happen so quickly.

Interesting lesson that people would rather stretch their finances to get into a better vehicle. Though at opposite ends of the spectrum, all the more reason for GM to stay focused on Cadillac.
 

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Hmm... It's kind of odd to hear that Datsun isn't doing well. Other budget cars in emerging markets seem to do well, and most of them aren't graciously designed either. Maybe the options/packaging isn't right for the market.
 

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Hmm... It's kind of odd to hear that Datsun isn't doing well. Other budget cars in emerging markets seem to do well, and most of them aren't graciously designed either. Maybe the options/packaging isn't right for the market.
Sounds like Datsun aimed to low. I assume consumers are opting for a decent used car with decent options vs. a really cheap new car. Plus if Datsun means nothing to most people, why buy it?
 

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Datsun's Second Life Isn't So Good, After All
BusinessWeek.com
By Siddharth Philip
October 16, 2014


Before Alisha Gracias, a 26-year-old physiotherapist in the western Indian state of Goa, bought her first car in April, she looked at a lot of different models. Among them was the new 312,270 rupees ($5,084) Go hatchback from Datsun, the nameplate that Nissan (7201:JP) brought out of hibernation in 2013 to churn out inexpensive no-frills cars in emerging markets. Although Gracias was familiar with the model, she wasn’t smitten. Instead, she paid almost 50 percent more than the top-end version of the Go to buy a Grand i10 made by Hyundai (005380:KS). That vehicle’s bells and whistles, including Bluetooth connectivity, dual air bags, antilock brakes, rear parking sensors, and power mirrors, were among the factors that led to her choice. “Besides,” Gracias says, “I didn’t like the looks of the Datsun.”

As Gracias’s cool reception shows, cheaper prices don’t guarantee success in emerging markets—even in a country where most people earn less than $2 a day. Tata Motors (TTM) learned that in 2009 when its then-$2,500 Nano failed to gain traction across the subcontinent. The Nano’s total sales in its first five years were less than the company’s one-year production capacity. For Nissan Chief Executive Officer Carlos Ghosn, failure to make Datsun a success could threaten his ability to deliver on a pledge to investors to raise Nissan’s global market share by a third, to 8 percent, by March 2017.

“The same factors that resulted in the Nano’s failure are the ones that are leading to disappointing sales at Datsun,” says Deepesh Rathore, director at Emerging Markets Automotive Advisors in New Delhi. Many car buyers are status-conscious, he says, and “want to be seen driving cars that are not ‘cheap.’ ”

More at link: http://www.businessweek.com/article...rkets-revival-datsun-cars-viewed-as-too-cheap
IIRC we used to read on this site how our market would be flooded by $2,000 cars from India. If Indians turn their noses up at $2,000 coffins on wheels, what do you think North Americans are going to do? And that's assuming somehow a vehicle could be certified for sale with tinfoil quarter panels, no safety gear and lawn chairs for seats.
 

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While the Datsun Go looks like complete rubbish by US standards, it's a freaking S-Class Mercedes compared to the Tata Nano.

I have to wonder if the Indian home field advantage for Tata has a lot do with this.
 

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Maybe they hired one of GM's crack advertising companies to push the brand. That would 'splain a great deal.

How are they styled? What are the dealerships like? What are the salesmen like? How do they drive?
 
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my understanding in India with the cast system there is a big social push to LOOK to be of a higher cast then you are from so a POS "LUX" car is better then a GOOD NON LUX car
and even the NANO is flopping
I think Datsun might do better in other BRIC countries and Africa ETC
 

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It couldn't be of course and I would guess if you just bought the key parts strictly there for regulatory compliance (airbag modules, safety belts and anchors, catalyst, OBD system, evap/refueling controls, soon rear-vision system you'd start knocking on that $2K price without even bothering to wrap a vehicle around it.
 

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Or maybe, people still think of Datsun with these models
New FWD Cherry on the cake MMMmm?


New FWD comprimise, or an old rotting classic 280z Mmmm a tough call.

Does it have authentic Datsun rust that appears all over the car after the first time its taken out in the rain or after you washed it for the first time.

Old skool 280Z with modern Nissan running gear and not made from cheap steel thats not got inter-granular corrosion build into every molecule thats gotta be a hit. Datsun is stillborn, l guess to many folk have memories of buying 5 gallon drums of rust remover every month.
 
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