With the re-launch of the Datsun brand off to an uneasy start in the Indian market, the company is working on expanding its product line-up, enhancing value proposition of its vehicles, tailoring its distribution network in non-metro areas, offering captive finance solutions to customers and fine-tuning its communication strategy to corner a 5% share (along with Nissan) in the country by 2020.
Vincent Cobee, global head, Datsun said, "As a company we have this very ambitious goal of reaching 5% market share between Nissan and Datsun, hopefully by 2020. It is very reasonable to expect that Datsun will contribute half of this volume. That is a pretty tall order. This will come from products, through presence, through awareness. So there is a lot of places to work on to get there."
Nissan and Datsun currently have a combined market share of around 1-1.5% in the Indian market.
To expand its product offerings, the company has lined up Redi-GO - a compact car drawing on design lines of an SUV - for launch to draw in younger customers.
Up next, will be a more premium offering Go Cross, a concept of which was unveiled at the auto show this year. It is currently gauging market reaction to the product and in tends to make it available within the next two years if the response is favourable.
Cobee added, "We know we are good in the hardware product attractiveness, product acceptance, customer satisfaction has been good. The issues we need to improve on is awareness, we are trying to make our message more attractive, more targeted. We are helping grow the network of Datsun and Nissan in India. We are moving forward towards tier-II and tier-III markets, offering sales finance."
Cobee argued, for one, the company's family hatch Datsun Go has the lowest maintenance cost in the segment.
"It is 25-30% cheaper than the main players in the segment in terms of regular maintenance. We need to make that better understood and we need to ensure availability of spare arts, to cross that threshold of trust so hat somebody living in a tier-III city believe that he can access the product anywhere", he informed. To building awareness and proximity to prospective customers, Datsun has only recently launched a new brand campaign.
The company has also since mid-2015 started offering financial solutions to customers through Renault Nissan Sales Finance.
Today , one out of every six customers purchasing a Datsun product opts for solutions offered by the captive finance arm. To reach out to more buyers in non-metro areas, Datsun has also started dedicated sales points in tier-II and tier-III cities. As many as 42 of these have been set up in the last six months.
Asked about his vision for Datsun in India, Cobee said, "I want to be one of the 2-3 brands that most people look at and say this meets my expectations. It is not my dad's car, it is not a car which has been on the streets for 20 years, it is a car which understands my ambitions and my constraints.
So deal with me with respect, provide financial solutions, give me cost of ownership which I can afford and predict. Don't give me a cheap car and then when I want to maintain it, it will cost me an arm and a leg. This is what we want to do."
Source : indiatimes.com