As Nissan enters the CASE era, it is now faced with the choice of “cost-cutting”, so following the transformation of Infiniti into a regional luxury brand, comes Datsun, a low-cost brand for emerging markets. According to Nikkei, Datsun announced the complete discontinuation of production eight years after former CEO Carlos Ghosn’s expansion strategy, and Nissan will strengthen its overall operating model by restructuring its loss-making brands and concentrating its management resources amid increasing competition in the development of electric vehicles and other vehicles.
Datsun is the core of Nissan’s approach to emerging markets, focusing on small car models such as the GO, which is priced below 1 million yen, and is a separate brand from Nissan and Infiniti, which began selling in India, Indonesia and Russia in 2014 in order to make its operations more independent. Seeing the growing demand for affordable cars in emerging countries such as Russia, India and Indonesia, Datsun was relaunched with a medium-term business plan, Power 88, which promised to account for half of Nissan’s total brand sales by 2016, but this target was never met.
In its heyday it sold in 10 countries and overall sales peaked at 87,300 in 2016, but in recent years it has clearly struggled with sales and according to MarkLines Statistics, Datsun will sell only around 6,400 units worldwide in 2021, a far cry from the 87,300-plus it used to sell.
As a result of the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine, Nissan Indonesia has now shut down the Datsun plant in Russia and has taken the opportunity to dust off the Datsun brand again, focusing on the development of electric vehicles, such as the low-cost small car market, which will be taken over by the Nissan brand entry-level models.