On the Nissan and Datsun brand strategy
What learnings from the launch of the Nissan brand will be implemented in the Datsun strategy?
I am a big believer in the importance of customer satisfaction, more so for the Datsun brand because there will be mainly first-time car buyers for Datsun. They may be worried about what will happen after the purchase. Datsun’s ‘T’ stands for trust and we need to pay attention to the trust issue through better sales and service quality.
What is your expansion strategy over the next 2-3 years?
Right now we have 100 dealers. By 2015-16, we plan to have 300 outlets. That will include Tier 2 and Tier 3 markets.
After Datsun, could Nissan Motor India also handle ‘Nissan’ brand’s sales directly at a later stage?
Everything’s possible. Right now, we are working together with Hover. That’s not the case right now.
What are the similarities/differences between first-time car buyers in Japan and India?
Actually, in Japan, there aren’t many first-time car buyers. Maybe 5 or 10 percent of sales come from such buyers. Young people spend more on electronics and consumer durables. They use public transport more. But in China, there are a lot of first-time car buyers for the Tiida, Sunny and March. In China, they are willing to spend two years’ salary in cash. It is the second biggest purchase after a house.
How much of your sales will come from exports?
We recently achieved the 300,000 exports landmark. This year it will be 100,000 units. But exports is not our strategy. They will complement our domestic business.
Note: This interview was published in Autocar Professional’s December 15, 2013 issue.
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