Nissan Motor India Managing Director Arun Malhotra at the launch of Datsun’s redi-GO in New Delhi, on Tuesday
Eight months after its alliance partner Renault shook the country’s entry level car market by launching Kwid at an aggressive price of Rs 2.56 lakh, Nissan’s Datsun brand is trying to create further ripples. Datsun today launched an urban crossover redi-GO at an attractive price of Rs 2.39 lakh to compete with Maruti Suzuki Alto and Hyundai Eon.
Built on the same platform as Kwid, redi-GO features tall boy style and claims to offer a fuel efficiency of 25.17 kilometre per litre of petrol. The redi-GO shares the same three-cylinder, 800cc petrol-powered engine as seen on the Kwid. The top variant of the car is priced at Rs 3.34 lakh (ex showroom, Delhi). Datsun redi-GO also promises a 32 per cent lower cost of ownership compared to competition. The pricing and lower ownership cost comes on the back of a 98 per cent localisation (local sourcing of components).
Kwid has been a phenomenal success for Renault and brought over 120,000 bookings since its launch in September last year. Datsun, however, did not share any target numbers for the redi-GO. Arun Malhotra, managing director for Nissan Motor India, said the company does not wish to talk about volumes. Bookings for the redi-GO had started a month ago. The company said the number of confirmed bookings will be announced over next few days.
“This is a no compromise car. We are redefining conventional expectations and notions associated with the entry level car segment in India. The awareness of Datsun has gone up in last two years and the network has also expanded,” said Malhotra. Currently, Nissan has 274 dealerships and Datsun has 55 exclusive outlets, which will be increased to 80 this year.
Guillaume Sicard, president for Nissan India Operations, said the challenge for Datsun in India is brand recall among the customers, since it is only two years old.
Datsun globally is a hundred-year-old brand and sold in 190 countries. To address this challenge besides increasing marketing spend, Datsun is also betting big on digital. Service is another key focus area. Sicard said the company (Nissan and Datsun) was looking at a market share of five per cent by the year 2020 compared to close to two per cent now.
Datsun’s Go brand is being widely used in the fleet segment by cab aggregator Ola. Malhotra said the company has sold 2,100 vehicles to Ola. The company said redi-GO has not been designed for the taxi segment.