Image Credit: CarDekho.com
Gurgaon: Japanese auto major Nissan on Monday announced the global relaunch of its Datsun brand with the unveiling of hatchback 'Datsun Go', which will be priced less than Rs 4 lakh.
The company, which is reviving the brand after nearly three decades of discontinuing the marque, said the car will be available in the Indian market from early next year.
"Today we begin new chapter in the history of Nissan. Datsun is back... The car will go on sales early next year in India, followed by Indonesia, Russia and South Africa," Nissan Motor Co President and CEO Carlos Ghosn said here.
He said the launch of the Datsun brand in India is part of the company's strategy to increase sales from emerging markets.
"We have a market share of little over 1.2 percent in India at present. We are looking to take it to 10 percent in the mid term (2016). We expect Datsun to play a significant role in this," Ghosn added.
The Indian car market had crossed the 3 million mark in 2011 and is expected to be 4 million by 2016, he added.
While he didn't share the exact price of the car, Ghosn said it will be priced less than Rs 4 lakh.
The car powered by a 1.2 litre petrol engine has been "fully engineered in India", he said, adding it will be manufactured at the Renault Nissan plant in Chennai.
Datsun Go will be the first of several models that will be launched later in 2014 in Indonesia, Russia and South Africa.
Nissan is resurrecting the Datsun brand after it had phased it out in 1986. The brand was sold in 190 countries.
In 2012, Nissan had announced plans to launch two products from the Datsun brand in India by FY14.
The global launch of Datsun in India underlines Renault- Nissan alliance's aim to tap the potential of the country's small car market. The alliance had earlier proposed to partner Bajaj Auto for a USD 2,500 low cost car but it did not work out.
Nissan, which plans to introduce 51 new models by 2015-16 globally, is also looking to expand production capacity in India, either through new plants or the existing plant at Chennai.
It plans to introduce 10 models in India by 2016, including the first Datsun branded model in 27 years.
The company is targeting to have 60 percent of its total global sales to come from emerging markets by FY'16 as compared to just 40 percent in FY07.
Nissan and its alliance partner Renault have jointly invested Rs. 4,500 crore at the Chennai plant which produces models from both the companies.