Japanese automaker Nissan has officially announced to discontinue its low-cost Datsun brand in Indonesia. As per reports, the company has already stopped producing Datsun cars in the country earlier this year and will continue its sales until the existing stocks are cleared with the dealers.
Nissan resurrected the Datsun brand in 2013 primarily to cater to emerging markets including India, Russia, South Africa and Indonesia. However Datsun brand failed to create any noteworthy impact in any of its targeted markets and as the company admits, it has fallen woefully short of expectations.
Datsun’s product line-up in Indonesia included the GO, GO Plus and the GO Cross. Together the three saw only 7,000 units sold in the entire year 2019 averaging just around 580 units a month. The company had two plants in Indonesia, the Karawang facility which built Nissan vehicles, stopped production in September 2019 whereas the Purwakarta facility which manufactured the Datsun range was shut for operation in January this year.
The decision to quit from Indonesian market is part of Nissan’s global restructuring program to discontinue low-selling nameplates and reduce capacity by 10%, which has also resulted in 12,500 job losses across the globe. Already battling with troubles, Nissan has indicated to quit the Datsun brand altogether however it is likely to stay alive only in India.
Ghandhara Nissan (GNL) having acquired Brownfield investment status were in process of introducing the Datsun range of cars in Pakistan. Earlier this year however, the company announced to put the Datsun project on hold. The company took an awfully long time to introduce these cars in Pakistan but as mentioned in its letter to PSX:
It is critical to note that Indonesia, which is the mother plant for Datsun CKD kits, may not be a sustainable KD source.
This makes sense since the Datsun plant in Indonesia which had stopped production operations in January was obviously never in a position to provide CKD assistance to Ghandhara. According to GNL, the company in prevalent volatile economic conditions cannot afford to go for a project of this magnitude. However from the looks of it, because of the troubles the parent company (Nissan) was going through, it was never in a position to launch Datsun cars in Pakistan. The few test vehicles that we keep on seeing on the internet are the same 2015 model units that were imported back in 2016.
A 3d animation professional with over 20 years of industry experience having served in leading organizations & production facilities of Pakistan, an avid car enthusiast and petrolhead with an affection to deliver writings to help shape opinions. Formerly written for PakWheels as well as major publications including Dawn. Founder of CarSpiritPK.com