Datsun is gearing up to introduce new models and upgrades as a part of its renewed efforts to break into the Indian automotive market. In an interview with Autocar India, Thomas Kuehl, president, Nissan India Operations, said the carmaker will have new products for new segments, including an SUV with a Datsun badge. “You will see a Datsun SUV under Rs 10 lakh. I can’t say more but I promise you it will be a killer in the market,” Kuehl said.
Though Kuehl didn’t reveal details on the upcoming SUV, it is expected to be based on the Renault-Nissan Alliance’s CMF-A platform, which will also spawn a Renault MPV in the first quarter of 2019. The Datsun SUV will be less than four metres in length and will have crossover styling in mould of the Tata Nexon. The Datsun SUV will be powered by a single engine – a turbocharged version of the Redigo’s 1.0-litre motor; there will be no diesel option.
The launch of this compact SUV will align well with the company’s strategy of positioning models priced below Rs 10 lakh under the Datsun brand, while models above that mark will be positioned as Nissan models.
Launched in 2014, the brand hasn’t found much success and has struggled to attract demand for its cars due to its inability to refresh its line-up in time amid fierce competition. However, the festive season, which typically sees a spurt in car buying, will see heightened activity in the Datsun camp, led by the launch of the Go and Go+ facelifts.
“At the moment, we don’t have a strong product portfolio, so we are trying to fix that,” Kuehl said. “Yes, our life cycle management is not the best at the moment, but you will see that we will have a major event every six months from this festival season onwards,” he added.
The refreshed Go and Go+ will sport revised styling and features such as a new touchscreen and new front seats, among others, in a bid to add a premium touch. Notably, Datsun will put the focus on safety with the facelifted Go and Go+. Both models are due to receive upgrades such as ABS and dual airbags, but big news is that they will get a first-in-class Electronic Stability Control (ESC) or Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC) as the company calls it.
Around the same time, the carmaker will also introduce a special edition of its Redigo small car, according to Kuehl. “We have a special version of the Redigo coming in during the festival time. I’m very positive that, with the things we are doing with the Redigo and the successor model, we will have a major impact in the segment,” he said.
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