With a third entry-level car from Datsun stable slated for launch next year, Japanese auto major Nissan is seeking a bigger play in India’s small car market dominated by Maruti Suzuki and Hyundai.
Nissan, which sold about 17,000 units of Datsun in India in the first year since the brand made a comeback in 2014, is looking to have around 60 exclusive showrooms of the brand, mostly in smaller towns by 2016.
“In the small car segment in India, Maruti commands around 75% of the market and Hyundai 22%. We were just about 1% and have now have increased to 3% with Datsun coming in,” said Guillaume Sicard, president, Indian operations, Nissan.
“We are looking to gradually increase our share in the segment... In the first year of launch of the Datsun brand, we have sold 17,000 units. In the next few weeks we will cross the 20,000 mark and going forward, the aim is to take the number higher,” he added,
Car sales in India stood at 18,76,017 units in 2014-15, up 4.99% from 17,86,826 units in the previous fiscal.
“We will have our third vehicle from Datsun brand, an entry-level car next year, Sicard said
Originally, the vehicle was planned for launch in India in 2017. In January this year, Nissan had launched compact multi purpose vehicle Datsun Go+ with price starting at Rs. 3.79 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi). Last year, Nissan launched Datsun Go in India.
“We are opening many new small dealerships in small cities. We will have 60 showrooms that will focus on Datsun only by 2016 as part of Nissan’s overall plans to open 300 showrooms in India,” he said. At present, Nissan has 21 showrooms exclusively for Datsun vehicles.