rediff.com

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News 
Rediff.com  » Business » How Nissan plans a comeback in India

How Nissan plans a comeback in India

July 01, 2014 10:41 IST

How Nissan plans a comeback in India

     Next

Next
Sayantani Kar in Mumbai

Nissan Motor (Nissan) is eager to make up for lost ground in India. After ending the cross-badge branding confusion that had cost it sales volumes, it has to move quickly now that its partner Renault, too, has leaped ahead with the Duster, a popular compact SUV.

In February this year, Nissan slotted Africa, West Asia (Middle East) and India as comprising one of the six segments it created of its worldwide market, and put a new chief to helm it. Takashi Hata, the senior vice-president, to do so, says, "India is Nissan's first priority in this segment and I travel often to India, as a result."

Please click NEXT to read further…

Please click here for the Complete Coverage of Budget 2014 -15


Photographs: Courtesy, Nissan

     Next

How Nissan plans a comeback in India

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Hata says the president and CEO, Nissan Motor, Charles Ghosn has given the clear mandate of growing India's domestic market sales as it looks to increase its regions-specific focus.

"Over the last five years, Nissan has committed investments for manufacturing and R&D together with our partner, Renault. India is one of the more successful examples of the partnership in operations as volume advantages still continue. The only one piece that is missing is sales in this market, which we need to fix," he says.

Please click NEXT to read further…

Please click here for the Complete Coverage of Budget 2014 -15


Photographs: Courtesy, Nissan
Tags:

Prev     Next

How Nissan plans a comeback in India

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Nissan is driving in two major changes. The less obvious one is the change in its sales structure.

It was in February when news broke that it was dropping its distribution partner, Hover Automotive.

While Nissan chose to ride Hover's reach amid dealers in 2008, most auto experts say that it is best for a car manufacturer to control sales itself.

Nissan's dealers who had to deal with Hover were reported to have faced non-payment of dues and inadequate support to market new launches.

Please click NEXT to read further…

Please click here for the Complete Coverage of Budget 2014 -15


Photographs: Courtesy, Nissan

Prev     Next

How Nissan plans a comeback in India

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

"Our network is already 128-dealer-strong and will be 200 by this fiscal. One of the biggest motivations to deal with the dealers directly was the need to design promotions ourselves. Not only can we now educate the dealers to make our offerings more attractive, but also create a uniform brand image," says Hata.

Controlling its distribution network also gives it a chance to improve its after-sales. "We have opened up a new parts distribution centre which will enhance the service levels," says Hata.

He also points out that eliminating the "middle-man" has given Nissan a stronger pulse of the audience.

Please click NEXT to read further…

Please click here for the Complete Coverage of Budget 2014 -15


Photographs: Courtesy, Nissan

Prev     Next

How Nissan plans a comeback in India

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Partner and national leader, automotive, Rakesh Batra, says, "Trade-offs happen between dealers and the manufacturer. With Hover, the dealers had no such direct link to the brand and there was no value-add."

But attributing a jump in sales to the restructuring would be difficult. "Yes, there has been a jump. But the jump has also come from the Datsun GO and launch of other cars. The combination of new channel and products would help us recover performance," says Hata.

Please click NEXT to read further...

Please click here for the Complete Coverage of Budget 2014 -15


Photographs: Courtesy, Datsun

Prev     Next

How Nissan plans a comeback in India

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

The second more obvious step has been the brand strategy that Nissan has adopted globally. It is playing out first in India, where it has launched the first car, GO, under the resurrected marquee, Datsun.

"We need to target two separate groups in the market. Datsun for the 'riser', the first-time buyer, which is a large part of the Indian population. And, Nissan which would be more premium and global that can be found anywhere in the world," says Hata.

Please click NEXT to read further…

Please click here for the Complete Coverage of Budget 2014 -15


Photographs: Courtesy, Nissan

Prev     Next

How Nissan plans a comeback in India

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Cross-badging products, made at the shared manufacturing units of Nissan and Renault had led to cannibalisation (Nissan's Terrano vs the Renault Duster, Sunny vs Scala, and Micra vs Pulse, respectively).

It had left the consumer confused about the benefits of two similar products under different marques, leading some away from both, say market observers.

Please click NEXT to read further…

Please click here for the Complete Coverage of Budget 2014 -15


Photographs: Courtesy, Renault

Prev     Next

How Nissan plans a comeback in India

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

But Datsun and its eponymous brand are both in-house. Datsun would give it more leeway with customisation by Indian engineers and local manufacturing, as Hata says, "Datsun is more focused on the unique demand of each region and is being selectively launched in specific countries."

Nissan, on the other hand, would be projected as a global brand and sell at a premium.

Please click NEXT to read further…

Please click here for the Complete Coverage of Budget 2014 -15


Photographs: Courtesy, Datsun

Prev     Next

How Nissan plans a comeback in India

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

For example, the new Sunny slated for re-launch on July 3, would sport premium looks and luxurious interiors.

The Nissan Terrano was also launched as a premium option to buyers of compact SUVs.

"The segment (which also includes Hyundai Verna and Honda City) is shrinking as segments flanking it eat up share. The new Sunny's image would then tend towards a luxurious sedan and be our volume and image contributor."

"We will be separating the Datsun and Nissan distribution network; it is not completely separate yet. That way we can keep the way we reach the respective major customer segments different," says Hata.

Please click NEXT to read further…

Please click here for the Complete Coverage of Budget 2014 -15


Photographs: Courtesy, Nissan

Prev     Next

How Nissan plans a comeback in India

Prev     More
Prev

More

While for Nissan, the showroom would be the experience to hone, with Nissan training its personnel in handling customers who walk in a professional, quick and well-informed manner, for Datsun it would be about going out to where the customer segment is.

"Datsun's segment might not be in the market for a car, or come to a dealership showroom, say in tier III towns. We need to make it available to the customer for her to touch and see the car," says Hata.

The Datsun GO, on moveable displays, is making its way to open and shopping areas in small towns.

But as an expert points out, Nissan's products are yet to go mainstream. Its challenge is to break into the top-five in crowded segments that has eluded it so far.

Please click here for the Complete Coverage of Budget 2014 -15


Photographs: Courtesy, Datsun

Prev     More
Source: