New Redigo could be the comeback car for Datsun

by Autocar Pro News Desk , 14 Apr 2016


Datsun today had the global reveal of its third model, the Redigo entry level hatchback. While bookings for the hatchback open on May 1, deliveries will start from the first week of June.

Looking more expensive that it is, the Redigo, which is priced at around Rs 2.50 lakh for the base variant, looks modern and sophisticated with sharp character lines. Staying true to the concept first showcased at the Auto Expo 2014, the car is aimed at the young and aspirational buyer.

According to the company, “The Redigo is the first urban-cross in the Indian market, combines the roominess, best-in-class ground clearance (185mm) and sheer fun of a crossover and blends that with zippy driving and fuel efficiency of an affordable compact hatchback. It provides “the best features of a crossover and the major attributes of an urban hatchback.”

Aiming for big numbers

Given its attributes and that it will be even cheaper than the Renault Kwid (which had a launch price of Rs 2.57 lakh) but not as well equipped, the new Redigo bids fair to be the comeback car for Datsun in the Indian market. Nissan will be banking on the Datsun Redigo to revive its volumes.  

Sales of Datsun’s first two products – the entry level Go hatchback and Go+ MPV – have not performed as per expectations. While the Go, which was launched in March 2014, has sold a total of 23,484 units till February 2016, the Go+ has sold only 12,280 units since its launch in January 2015.  

Speaking at the reveal in New Delhi today, Vincent Cobee, global head of Datsun, said: “In a sea of look-a-like hatchbacks, the Datsun Redigo’s modern and distinctive looks help it stand out from the crowd. Its design reflects the sense of individuality of the people who’ll buy the car: confident go-getters who know where they want to be in life.”

Datsun says the Redigo’s tall body structure enabled engineers to deliver a spacious, bright interior and high driving position beyond expectations for a car in this class. Best-in-class visibility and a high eye point help the driver see the situation on the road and feel confident behind the wheel. The expansive cabin is also claimed to be practical and modern.

The Redigo, the first Datsun to be based on the Common Module Family (CMF-A) platform from the Renault-Nissan Alliance, will be powered by the same 800cc powertrain as in the Kwid, mated to a five-speed gearbox and will develop the same  amount of power. The 1.0-litre engine and AMT options, which were seen on the Kwid at the 2016 Auto Expo, will come much later on the Redigo.

The Redigo will go up against established rivals from Maruti, Hyundai and even Renault. While the market leader Alto will be the main rival, the Redigo will also have to take on the Hyundai Eon and the Renault Kwid.

According to Guillaume Sicard, president, Nissan India Operations, “Datsun's growth strategy in India will continue to reflect our commitment to local engineering, development and manufacturing. The Redigo is created to bring fun, free and confident thinking to the otherwise traditional compact hatchback segment.”

Daniele Schillachi, global sales head for Nissan, said India is set to be the third largest passenger car market in the world with sales of 5 million cars by 2020. Nissan is aiming at a 5% market share in India by the year 2020.  He added that the company is convinced that the Redigo will boost Datsun's performance in India. 

However, developing an affordable car isn't enough to drive up sales. It's for this reason that the carmaker is also looking to ramp up its dealership network. Nissan Motor India now has a network of 215 sales and service touch-points across 165 cities. By end-March 2017, this number is slated to stand increased to 300.  

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