Nissan to sell Datsun range directly

Nissan India plans to go solo to sell its mass market Datsun range of vehicles as it readies to launch the vehicle in the coming year.

Under the current arrangement, distribution and marketing of all Nissan branded products is handled by the master franchisee – Hover Automotive.

In a departure from the arrangement, the company would establish company managed dealerships for Datsun Go.

''The launch of Datsun Go is now just months away, and when the first model goes on sale in early 2014 the vehicles will be sold directly through Nissan Motor in India,'' the company said in a statement yesterday.

The arrangement with Hover would, however, continue, the company has said.

According to Kenichiro Yomura, president, Nisan India operations who spoke to DNA, the target customers for Datsun were completely different from its existing customers.

He said the company had been working on the totally different sales and marketing strategy for Datsun and the decision of going direct had been taken by the company headquarters.

The Japanese auto maker is the only company in India that markets it cars indirectly through Hover Automotive India Pvt Ltd as its exclusive distributor.

Nissan unveiled the revived Datsun brand in July and the first car from the Datsun stable would be the Datsun GO that would open for sale in India from early 2014. The car powered by a 1.2-litre gasoline engine would cost less than Rs4 lakh.

The Datsun GO would be the first in a line of low-cost vehicles developed for emerging markets such as India, Indonesia, Russia and South Africa.

The line up would also include a van.

The automaker is targeting 10 per cent of the Indian market along with the Datsun by 2016, up from the 1.2 per cent it currently has.

According to Vincent Cobee, Datsun's global head, selling the Datsun Go and future Datsun models through Nissan Motor represented a natural evolution of the company's operations in the country.

According to Cobee, the Datsun range would be expanded progressively with the introduction of more new models.

The company said, it would work with dealers that currently sold its cars to open separate showrooms for the Datsun vehicles.