Datsun Redigo aims to be India's most pocket-friendly hatchback

by Sumantra B Barooah & Shourya Harwani 14 Apr 2016


The production version of the RediGo concept, Nissan’s next bet in the Indian car market, is likely to offer 10-15 percent lower maintenance cost, compared to small car market king, Maruti Alto.

According to Nissan Motor India, Datsun’s cost of maintenance is cheaper than Maruti Suzuki India and Hyundai Motor India, which includes labour and spare parts costs. For some components in the new Datsun model, the replacement interval may be longer than the same components in the Alto.

Given that the new Datsun will be an entry-level car, Nissan has tried to practice stringent cost control. The Renault Kwid’s entry-level price-tag of Rs 2.57 lakh (lower than the Alto) at its launch last year may have made this even tighter. The Datsun model is expected to be cheaper than the Kwid.

According to sources in the know, the Redigo could be priced from Rs 2.44 lakh (ex-showroom) onwards, making it the least expensive hatchback in the country after Tata Nano. Nissan wants to replicate the disruptive pricing strategy adopted by its Alliance partner Renault with the Kwid and the Redigo could even undercut its sibling by Rs 8,000-13,000.

The strategy does seem sound as well given the overwhelming response to the Kwid in the Indian market. Since its launch in May last year, the Kwid has helped in turning around Renault’s fortunes in India. Thanks to the Kwid, the company registered its best ever fiscal year sales in 2015-16, with a staggering 160% growth.

Now Datsun and Nissan are also betting big on the second offering from the CMF-A platform and hope that the Redigo – Datsun’s third model in India – will be able to deliver on similar lines as the Kwid.

Despite being built on the same platform as the Kwid, the Redigo boasts a number of significant changes. Unlike the SUV-inspired styling of the Kwid, the Redigo features a more fluid design, replete with a tall cabin, urban-suited ground clearance and great all-round visibility. As Datsun is Nissan’s budget brand and due to the expected prices slated to be lower than the Kwid, the hatchback will not be as well-equipped as the Kwid and a major omission would be the touch-screen infotainment unit.

However, with lower maintenance costs and expected longer service intervals, Nissan has kept pocket- friendliness at the top of its agenda with the Redigo, and from what we could see at the global unveil today, the company has not compromised on styling of the car one bit.

It may be too early to predict if the Redigo can deliver for Datsun, the way the Kwid did for Renault, but with its smart urban design, likely disruptive pricing and pocket-friendliness, the company does seem to have a car capable of cementing the brand in India.

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‘We are giving much more than Maruti in the Datsun Redigo.’ – Guillaume Sicard, president – Nissan India Operations