* Datsun to start in India, Indonesia, Russia from 2014
* Two models to be offered within 1 year in each market
* Datsun revived for first time in 3 decades
* Datsuns to be tailor-made for each market
* Succeeding in new brand no small feat - analyst
By Chang-Ran Kim
YOKOHAMA, Japan, March 21 Nissan Motor Co
is counting on its heritage Datsun brand to attract a
vast pool of first-time car buyers in emerging markets as it
aims to grab an 8 percent share of the global market by 2016,
executives said on Wednesday.
Japan's No.2 automaker announced a day earlier the revival
of the 80-year-old Datsun nameplate for entry-level cars
starting in India, Indonesia and Russia from 2014, after it was
ditched in 1981 to consolidate all cars under the Nissan brand.
"Datsun is a good name," Chief Executive Carlos Ghosn told
reporters at Nissan's global headquarters in Yokohama on
Wednesday. "Datsun was known for a product that was robust,
reliable and affordable. These are good attributes to start
with, (and) we're going to add good quality and modernity."
For Nissan, selling cheaper cars under an independent brand
removes the risk of hurting its core brand - a conundrum that
rivals such as Toyota Motor Corp and Honda Motor Co
faced as they push the limits of low-cost offerings in
India and other markets.
But analysts said building a successful brand was no small
feat, requiring years of dedication, allocation of sufficient
resources and the right products.
"I'm not convinced," UBS auto analyst Tatsuo Yoshida said.
"They haven't even achieved a solid brand identity for Nissan
yet. It's going to be a bumpy road."
Ghosn said Datsun would eventually expand to other
high-growth markets and become a global brand that offered
products tailor-made to the regulations and consumer needs for
In Indonesia, that would mean vehicles with engines smaller
than 1.2 litres and priced under $10,000 to meet the
government's requirements under its new green car programme, for
In India, Datsun's target price would be below 400,000
rupees ($8,000), where the bulk of demand lies, Ghosn said,
possibly, but not limited to an ultra-low-cost car being
developed in a joint project with Renault SA and Bajaj
Through the launch of two models in the first year and an
enhanced line-up within three years in each of the initial
markets, Datsun will account for one-third to half of Nissan's
sales in India, Indonesia and Russia by the business year ending
in March 2017, the company said.
"We want no more segments of the market where there is no
offering from our company, particularly in the high-growth
markets," Ghosn said. "This is part of our strategy to take
leadership in the emerging markets."
Under its "Power 88" business plan through March, 2017,
Nissan is targeting a global market share of 8.0 percent, up
from 5.8 percent in the 2010/11 business year.
Corporate Vice President Vincent Cobee, head of the Datsun
business unit, said the brand aimed to appeal to a growing
population of young, up-and-coming customers looking for
something new, whether it be types of sales financing or vehicle