Costing around Rs. 4 lakh, Datsun will be a five-door hatchback. Nissan is also eyeing booming markets like Russia, Indonesia and South Africa with GO as its trump card. In fact, it is in contrast to the Indonesian market, where the Datsun car is expected to be at a lower price than the current cheapest car of the entire market and that too by a huge 30 per cent margin.
Targeted at emerging middle class buyers of countries like India, Russia and Indonesia, Datsun will play an important role in the plan called 'Nissan 88', which aims at raising profit and worldwide market share of the company to about eight per cent by the year 2016. Carlos Ghosn, the global CEO of Renault-Nissan, will unveil the GO in mid-July at the Kingdom of Dreams in New Delhi. The much-awaited launch of GO will also mark the return of Datsun in the Indian market and it is expected that some information will be revealed about the future plans of the firm.
Company report indicates that the new car will feature fantastic acceleration at the same time being fuel efficient. The car, referred to as GO till now, will come with a 1.2 litre, three-cylinder petrol engine (XH5) that generates 75 bhp. Incidentally, it is the same one that is fitted in the Micra. With highest sales in the auto sector, entry by Nissan into small compact hatchback segment is a big step and could prove to be a game changer.
With company expectations of selling 1.5 to 2 lakh units annually, the main fight would be on the pricing. Meeting basic buyer requirements of this category like body coloured bumpers, power steering, functional air conditioning, Nissan can expect to sell GO as planned, where the likes of Alto are miles ahead. What Nissan needs is to get it all started and to conquer this segment with a fresh marketing strategy (like enormous discounts early on). The firm plans to adopt a promotional strategy that involves careful market analysis to figure out what will draw the attention of buyers.
It has been seen, over the years, that a good promotional strategy that clicks with customers turns out to be a trigger, which sets a particular vehicle on its way to becoming a success in the market. The marketing campaign should include all the factors that form the USP of the Datsun GO, such as affordability, aspiration, innovation, performance and efficiency. To sustain in a market as competitive as the one in India, domestic assembling of the model is the primary way to keep unnecessary costs in check. Collaborative work is under way by Nissan's R&D department in India and Japan to develop the GO.
The Datsun was created in 1931 by the DAT Motorcar Co., who spelled it as Datson to indicate its smaller size as compared to the existing larger DAT car. In 1934, after Nissan motor took over DAT motocar, the last syllable of Datson was changed to SUN, as sun means loss in Japanese, plus to honour the sun depicted in the national flag, resulting in the name “Datsun”. Although, the Datsun brand vanished in mid 1980's after the famous 510, Fairlady roadsters and later the Fairlady (240Z) coupes. It was only on march 20, 2012, that Nissan announced of reviving the brand again for use in Indonesia, South Africa, India and Russia.
GO will weigh around 100 kg less than the Micra, helping it to achieve a decent power to weight ratio. With GO segment primarily intended to be dominated by the petrol car buyers, the company has kept hidden any plans to introduce the diesel option. With soaring costs and the GO body shell not being adequate to hold the 1.5-litre K9K series diesel engine, this will certainly keep the diesel version buyers at bay. The straight forward MacPherson Strut front suspension and torsion beam axle at the rear with high profile tyres (145/70/13) and stiff suspension tune-up will provide the capability of hassle free run on Indian roads. Datsun also believes that the requirement of a having a diesel model in a segment dominated by petrol can be considered negligible.
The company claims that the GO will be a competitive option than its rivals having classy looks comfort and performance in its segment. The first Datsun hatchback will be at the outlets by the middle of 2014. But, we have to patiently wait and watch to know the exact future plans of the company for India.
Vincent Cobee, Vice President (Corporate), Datsun Business Unit told media recently: "India is a highly competitive market and it is no longer going to be a picnic for us. Nevertheless, we are confident that the brand Datsun will win the confidence of Indian masses with its quality, efficiency and comfort".
"Datsun will bring competitive products and services, modern and aspirational, while at the same time reassuring, providing superior value and specifically developed for the emerging and ambitious new Middle Class in high-growth markets. The Datsun cars will be locally developed with the support of Nissan Motor Company engineers and stylists and will be locally produced," he further added.
One of the biggest challenges that will be faced by the Datsun GO would be the task to create its own customer base and subsequently, develop the brand value among buyers. Maruti Suzuki is a household name in the Indian car market and provides trustworthy after sales service. Matching this pedigree and reputation will, by no means, an easy thing to do; on the contrary, in order to stamp authority on the market, Datsun will have to adopt an aggressive marketing strategy. Indian car buyers are influenced a great deal by the price and mileage of a vehicle, which, more often that not, turn out to be the main determinants that lead to the final decision.
In all probability, Datsun is expected to market its models from Nissan leaderships. According to reports, the company is riding on the car's comfort, class-leading fuel efficiency and performance to outdo counterparts in the segment. In a segment dominated by the likes of Hyundai i10, Maruti Suzuki WagonR and Ritz, GO, which can be called a younger version of the Micra, will have to exceed expectations in order to have any chance of competing. Although, the company is quite upbeat about getting a positive response from the market, it can never be a certainty given the prevalent uncertainty. Even the CEO admitted that GO is going to face stiff competition and success will not come easy as the competition is directly with the bigwigs.
It is expected that Datsun will be sharing its dealer network with Nissan. This provides them with a fine base to begin their foray into the Indian market as Nissan has been on the rise in the past few years. However, in order to build a brand name and generate buzz among customers, Datsun will acquire its own showroom area. Also, Datsun is planning to open independent dealerships in small towns, where there are no Nissan outlets. This would be a great move to make the brand popular in lesser known areas, where the car buying population is on a constant rise. Also, if the car clicks in any of these regions, it would automatically spread to nearby regions and subsequently, to the hubs of the Indian auto market.
Engine & Specification of Datsun GO
Datsun GO, like the Nissan Micra, is fitted with a three-cylinder (XH5) 1.2 litre petrol engine. The same engine in Micra is capable of churning out 75 bhp, however, this number could be reduced slightly in order to facilitate better efficiency. Along with this, the XH5 engine of the GO is expected to have lower specifications than the one in Micra. The engine, like the one in the Micra, is excellent for city road conditions. GO being fitted with a lower specification engine is mainly due to the extremely tight cost targets. The Datsun GO will have better acceleration than the Nissan Micra as it is around 100 kg lighter. As mentioned earlier, there will not be a diesel model for the Datsun GO as its nose is not spacious enough to hold the 1.5 litre K9K, which is Renault-Nissan's smallest diesel engine. Another reason attributed to the diesel model not being launched is the cost, which can turn out to be quite high.
Performance of Datsun GO
According to the reports and presentations made by the company, the GO is set to lock horns with any competitor and give it a run for its money. It seems like Datsun has put in a lot of research and analysis before stepping into one of most important segments of the India auto market. Efficiency, best-in class performance, affordability, good acceleration and comfort are some of the main draws of the Datsun GO. The company also aims at offering an engaging driving experience, peace of mind ownership, accessibility at the right price, competitive total cost of ownership and a rewarding brand experience. Datsun, as a brand, promotes itself on the grounds of accessibility, reliability and durability. Since the GO is modelled around the Nissan Micra and has the same engine, industry experts believe that it is an ideal car for driving in city conditions. It won't be the most thrilling ride but reliability and consistency are things that are a surety with this car. GO might not be that effective on the highway, where drivers are required to put the foot on the pedal.
Exterior, Interior & Safety Features of Datsun GO
For a compact car, Datsun GO looks quite stylish with its tapering nose and sharp features. The tapering nose is the stand out attribute on the exteriors of this car. Datsun has a paid a lot of emphasis on the styling of the car, which also manages to draw a lot of buyers in the Indian market. According to the company head, it will require a lot more than a performance and efficiency to carve a niche for the car, which is making its début in India. He said that the product is less likely to work if its design is similar to others in the same segment.
The company expects style to be a key element in distinguishing this car from its counterparts. To achieve this, Datsun has included some stand-out elements in the design of the GO without any actual compromise on the practicality. The sketch of this car reveals that the car will feature a prominent hexagonal grille, which is said to be one of the distinguishing parts in its design. The size of the GO is expected to be as big as Nissan Micra with the former being around 100 kg lighter than the latter. However, unlike the Micra, Datsun does not have torsional stiffness or crash worthiness of global levels. This, probably, is the biggest reason why the car is not being launched in Western Europe or Japan.
Coming to specifications, GO features a MacPherson strut front suspension along with the rear having a torsion beam axle. Datsun has decent ground clearance and experts say that the shocks will be cushioned well by the high profile 145/70 R13 tyres. Being an international brand that is going to launch this car in other countries, safety is something has to be kept in mind at all times. Especially in the Indian conditions, where roads and traffic can be a major issue for any driver. Therefore, the GO is expected to be equipped with a lot of security features, which will ensure complete safety while driving. One of things that has been done to tackle Indian road conditions is fine tuning of the suspension. A sure shot advantage of the Datsun GO is the fact that there will be no parking issues or problems in manoeuvring in congested areas.
|Price||Rs. 3 lakhs to Rs. 4 lakhs|
1.2 litre Engine
Comments on Datsun GO
News for Datsun GO
Nov 07, 201310:49 IST by CarTrade Editorial Team
Nissan seems to be gearing up for the challenge posted by Maruti Suzuki and Hyundai by reviving its low cost Datsun brand in India. Recently the company took the curtains off its Go hatchback,...
Oct 29, 201311:59 IST by CarTrade Editorial Team
Nissan, the Japanese auto maker, seems prepared for the launch of its low cost hatchback, Datsun Go in the Indian auto market. The model was unveiled during early 2013 and is expected to make its...
Sep 21, 201312:27 IST by CarTrade Editorial Team
The recent launch of all new Datsun GO+ in Jakarta is aimed towards strengthening and expanding the global presence of Datsun brand all over the world. At the time of launch, Datsun also declared...
Under: Datsun GO+
Jul 18, 201311:54 IST by CarTrade Editorial Team
Nissan, on July 15th, introduced the Datsun brand in India by unveiling the Go hatchback. There was tremendous buzz and enthusiasm during the showcase of Datsun's first car among the Indian...
Jul 16, 201312:20 IST by CarTrade Editorial Team
Nissan is betting high stakes on the Datsun Go hatchback, which was showcased on Monday, July the 15th. The proceedings had an air of excitement as the Japanese auto maker commenced its plan to...
Jul 16, 201311:19 IST by Roger DSouza
Nissan Motor Company showcased the Datsun Go, a hatchback that will be priced below Rs. 4 lakh, in New Delhi on July 15. Sources close to the process stated that the Go hatchback is a part of...
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