And just like that, the lights have been snuffed out over at Datsun, barely a decade after it was relaunched with much fanfare. Nissan has announced it has nixed its budget brand with the discontinuation of its only remaining model, the redi-Go, at its Indian plant in Chennai, according to Autocar India.
The move comes less than two years after Nissan confirmed it would be winding down the marque in stages, pulling out of the Russian market – the company had already shuttered its Indonesian plant earlier that year. Production of the Go hatchback and Go+ MPV had ended a while back, the report stated.
“As part of Nissan’s global transformation strategy, the company is focusing on core models and segments that bring the most benefit to customers, dealer partners and the business. Production of the Datsun redi-Go has ceased at the Chennai plant,” said Nissan in a statement.
The company assured customers that it will continue to offer aftersales and warranty support through its own Indian dealerships. “We can reassure all existing and future Datsun owners that customer satisfaction remains our priority, and we will continue to provide the highest levels of aftersales service, parts availability and warranty support from our national dealership network.”
Datsun was announced in 2012 as a low-cost brand for “high-growth” emerging markets, clearly aimed at replicating the success Renault achieved with Dacia in Europe – although it never reached its lofty goals. The Go arrived in India in 2014 with a headline-grabbing starting price of under 400,000 rupees (RM22,700), but it was plagued by reports of poor quality and then castigated by Global NCAP over a zero-star safety rating.
Subsequent models followed, including the Lada-based on-Do and mi-Do built in Russia, but they all failed to make a dent in the market, as aspirational buyers didn’t want to be seen in what was clearly a budget car. Then Nissan suffered the indignity of both a very public falling out with former chairman Carlos Ghosn and mounting losses stemming from declining sales, leading to the restructuring that eventually culled Datsun.
Datsun’s global sales peaked at 90,000 units in 2016, Nikkei reported, slowing to a trickle of just 6,400 vehicles in 2021, its last full year of production. It’s clear that Nissan made an effort to arrest the slide – the Nissan Magnite SUV was obviously designed for a Datsun badge (it bears the brand’s octagonal grille) and would’ve likely boosted its outlook, but by the time it entered production in 2020, the die was cast.
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