In October, Reuters had reported that Nissan will likely axe its budget brand Datsun. Now, Nikkei is reporting that the company indeed plans to do so, but not in India. It is worth noting that a sub-4 metre Datsun SUV is said to be introduced in India in 2020.
The latest development from the Land of the Rising Sun is that Datsuns will no longer be produced in Indonesia and Russia. This would mean a complete withdrawal from South East Asian markets, Russia and CIS markets. India will continue making Datsun models, most likely for both domestic and export markets. So, expect India's neighbouring countries and South Africa to be among the last remaining markets. Soon, Nissan will start production of Datsun model(s) in Pakistan.
Nissan had announced the revival of the Datsun brand back in July 2013. Carlos Ghosn-led leadership planned to market Datsun as a brand for emerging markets around the globe. But then sources close to Nissan management had stated in the past that reincarnation of the Datsun brand created problems for Nissan.
Following Carlos Ghosn’s scandal, it became even tougher for Datsun to establish itself as a successful brand under Nissan's shadow, and thus its discontinuation seemed inevitable.
“We ended up pushing two mainstream brands in a market where you have a one or two percent market share,” said one of the sources about the situation in Indonesia. “You cannot do that,” the source added. Speaking further, the source revealed that a similar situation exists in India, South Africa and Russia.
The decision of Nissan pulling plugs on Datsun in Indonesia and Russia markets came in the light of recent management shuffle after Makoto Uchida took over Hiroto Saikawa as Nissan's chief executive at the end of last month (30 November 2019).