Datsun’s redi-GO might start a new price war

  • Sunny Sen
  • Updated: Jun 09, 2016 08:35 IST

NEW DELHI: Datsun’s redi-GO is the new price warrior in India’s mini car market. It costs lower than what Maruti Suzuki’s Alto and Hyundai’s Eon – both are the entry points into the respective brands.

The urban crossover -- as Datsun calls it -- that has features of a hatchback and an SUV might stir mini car market, which accounts for almost a quarter of all domestic car sales.

But Datsun is not betting on price alone. “Is Gaadi ki surat bhi hai, aur seerat bhi (this car looks nice from outside and has inner beauty),” said Arun Malhotra, managing director of Japanese carmaker Nissan’s India operations. Nissan owns Datsun and Renault.

redi-GO boasts a ground clearance more than the Hyundai Creta. Malhotra also claims more leg, elbow and shoulder room than the Alto, and mileage better than any of its competitors

With the given dimension of the car, Malhotra said that the engineers have maximised the space inside the car. It also uses tougher but lighter plastic for better fuel efficiency.

What about sales? “We might be ready to work on lower profits per car as we strengthen our position in the market,” said Malhotra. To be sure, rediGO’s price is just an introductory price.

“There are no launches happening in mini cars, but they have a future in India and the possibility of growth is very high… That is why (Renault) Kwid did so well,” said Abdul Majeed, partner at PwC.

Kwid is manufactured on the same platform as the redi-GO. Renault has seen some initial successes selling about 10,000 Kwids everymonth. Minicars ’growth in 2015-16, at 3.5% was largely due to the Kwid, which sold 41,204 units. In April, the Kwid sold almost twice as much as the Eon.

The redi-Go comes with a two-year warranty on unlimited mileage, road-side assistance and four customisation kits, which will allow buyers to personalise the car’s look.

Tata Motors’ Nano is the only car cheaper than the redi-GO, but Malhotra wants a sizable chunk of that buyer base also. “We are targeting three categories – people upgrading from two-wheeler to cars, first time buyers who have had cars in their homes, and people who are buying an additional car,” he said.

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