YOKOHAMA, Japan -- Nissan Motor Co. is counting on its Datsun brand to attract a vast pool of first-time car buyers in emerging markets.
Nissan is reviving the 80-year-old Datsun nameplate for entry-level cars in Russia, India and Indonesia starting in 2014 and will add two Datsun models every year in those markets, the carmaker said on Wednesday.
Datsun will eventually expand to other high-growth markets and become a global brand that offers products tailored to the regulations and consumer needs for each market, Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn told reporters.
But Datsuns will not be offered in mature markets such as Japan, western Europe and the United States, Ghosn said.
“Every country has its own specific incentives to encourage people that are riding motorcycles or riding used cars to move to a new car,” he said. “We don’t want to have a product that fits all needs.”
Datsun will account for one-third to half of Nissan's sales in Russia, India and Indonesia and Russia by the business year ending in March 2017, the company said.
Two Datsun models will launch in the first year and the lineup will be enhanced within three years in each of the initial markets.
Young buyers targeted
Nissan Vice President Vincent Cobee, head of the Datsun business unit, said the brand aimed to appeal to a growing population of young, up-and-coming customers looking for something new, whether it is types of sales financing or vehicle accessories offered.
Ghosn said: "Datsun was known for a product that was robust, reliable and affordable. These are good attributes to start with, [and] we're going to add good quality and modernity."
In India, Datsun's target price would be below 400,000 rupees ($8,000), where the bulk of demand lies, Ghosn said, possibly, but not limited to an ultra-low-cost car being developed in a joint project with French alliance partner Renault and India's Bajaj Auto Ltd.