Nissan set to axe Datsun brand: report

Nissan will likely axe its Datsun brand, drop some unprofitable products and close a number of assembly lines worldwide.

Reuters reports that these measures are part of the Yokohama-based automaker’s latest attempt to pull itself out of crisis after its CEO Carlos Ghosn was arrested for financial misconduct.

The Datsun brand – revived for emerging markets under Ghosn after being phased out in the 1980s – will likely bear the brunt of the restructuring. The models are manufactured in Indonesia, India and Russia.

Citing two company sources with direct knowledge of the matter, Reuters said problems emerged after Nissan began deploying the no-frills cars in 2014 in small markets such as Indonesia, India, Russia and South Africa, where it also sells vehicles under its mainstay Nissan brand.

In Indonesia, for example, after a relatively good start, Datsun cars soon began eating into Nissan sales.

“We ended up pushing two mainstream brands in a market where you have a 1 – 2% market share. You cannot do that,” one of the sources said, adding that there had been similar outcomes in India, South Africa and Russia.

The last data published by the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers South Africa (Naamsa) shows that Datsun GO sold 619 units in September 2019.

By comparison, the Nissan NP200 and Nissan NP300 sold 2,250 and 605 units respectively.

Read: 7 fuel-efficient cars you can buy in South Africa for less than R200,000 right now

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Nissan set to axe Datsun brand: report