Nissan Hopes for Indonesia Boost with Revived Datsun

Nissan Hopes for Indonesia Boost with Revived Datsun

"Today we are breathing new life into this historic brand," said Nissan Motor Co. chief executive Carlos Ghosn.

JAKARTA - Nissan (IW 1000/31) Tuesday launched its revived budget Datsun marque in Indonesia, saying it hoped the cut-price cars would more than double its market share in the country.

Indonesia is only the second country where the iconic car has been launched following its resurrection in India in July, which marked the start of a rollout across emerging markets.

Nissan, which in 1981 killed off the Datsun badge that was a favorite of legions of Western drivers, has launched a "next-generation" of the car to penetrate high-growth developing markets.

Nissan Motor Co. chief executive Carlos Ghosn unveiled two new Datsun models in a Jakarta shopping mall, a seven-seat family model and a five-door hatchback.

"Today we are breathing new life into this historic brand," said Ghosn, who also heads Renault (IW 1000/80) as part of a partnership.

"Why? Because there are a number of consumers here in Indonesia and other high-growth consumer markets who dream of car ownership."

Driving Market Share

The cars will go on sale in Indonesia next year.

Nissan hopes the two cars, which will sell for less than 100 million rupiah (US $8,800) each, will boost its market share in Indonesia, which at the moment stands at only 6%.

The automaker expects to increase its market share in Indonesia to 15% by early 2017, Vincent Cobee, the global head of Datsun, told reporters.

The cars have been developed with local partners and Nissan is taking advantage of tax breaks offered by the Indonesian government to manufacturers of fuel-efficient, cheap cars.

Nissan is just the latest developed world company to try to combat slowing sales at home by turning to Indonesia, which has a burgeoning middle class willing to spend and an elite looking for high-end toys.

Last year, its car market grew 25% to a record 1.1 million units, closing in on Thailand, the biggest car market in Southeast Asia with 1.4 million vehicles.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2013

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