Another one bites the dust: Datsun exits India

The writing was on the wall when Nissan decided to phase out Datsun’s global operations in 2019.

Nissan has decided to halt the production of Datsun vehicles in India. This isn’t a total surprise as the brand has been struggling to sell its vehicles in the last couple of years and had earlier phased out two of its three compact cars in its portfolio — Go and Go+, while the Redi-Go’s journey officially came to an end today. In 2019, Datsun’s worldwide operations began to shut down in a phased manner under Nissan’s “performance recovery plan” as the company decided to shut down brands which resulted in poor sales. Datsun first stopped production in Russia, then later in Indonesia.

So, what happens to the current Datsun customers in India? Nissan has given assurance that they will support their customers with spare parts, after-market service and honour the warranties. In an official statement, Nissan announced, “We can reassure all existing and future Datsun owners that customer satisfaction remains our priority, and we will continue to provide the highest levels of aftersales service, parts availability, and warranty support from our national dealership network.”

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With both the Go and Go+ phased out, the Redi-GO only managed to sell 239 units and in March the dwindling figures came crashing down to zero. Datsun’s perennial problem was its cheap image due to evident cost-cutting strategies, which never really appealed to the Indian buyers. Another major problem was Nissan’s relationship with Hover Automotive India, Datsun’s exclusive distributor in marketing, sales and after-sales service, which deteriorated so badly that the Japanese automaker was forced to terminate their agreement. As a result, the Datsun network went for a toss. The irony here is that the successful compact SUV, the Magnite, which helped the struggling Nissan brand bounce back in the Indian market was originally slated to be a Datsun product. 

With Datsun wrapping up its 9-year innings in India, the company stated, “As part of Nissan’s global transformation strategy, Nissan is focusing on core models and segments that bring the most benefit to customers, dealer partners and the business. (Due to this) Production of Datsun Redi-GO has ceased at the Chennai Plant.”

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