Datsun Indonesia Loses Out to Old Guards' New Rides

BY :HERMAN

DECEMBER 17, 2016

Jakarta. Nissan Motor Indonesia, a local unit of the Japanese car giant, has seen sales of cars under its Datsun brand plummeted since midyear after rivals Toyota and Daihatsu introduced their own versions of small multipurpose vehicles.

Indriani Hadiwidjaja, the head of Datsun Indonesia, said that sales of Datsun cars, including city car Datsun Go Panca and small MPV Datsun Go+, fell 40 percent in July-September compared to the previous quarter.

Latest wholesale data from the Indonesian Automotive Association (Gaikindo) showed Datsun sold only 820 cars last month, less than half of 2,000 cars the company was selling each month in the beginning of the year.

The company revived the Datsun brand in 2014 in Indonesia to compete in the so-called low cost green car (LCGC) class.

The government offers a tax incentive for car manufacturers that make cheap and environmentally friendly vehicles.

"Competition is getting tougher. We've failed to meet our sales expectation in the LCGC class because of the new players," Indriani said on Friday (16/12).

Nissan's Datsun Go+ used to be the only low-priced 8-seater MPV available in the Indonesian market. That was until Toyota and Daihatsu, both long time leaders in the Indonesian car market, introduced the almost identical Toyota Calya and Daihatsu Sigra in August.

Still, Indriani said the company remains optimistic about its growth, noting that the low cost green car market will continue to grow in the future.

"We're still optimistic about the LCGC market. Many customers are still interested in cheap MPVs," Indriani said.

Also, Datsun is making an entry into a new market segment next year, the crossover class, Indriani added.

Nissan has already showcased its new Datsun Go-Cross concept car, a crossover car that can go off-road and fit as many passengers as an MPV.

Crossover cars are now the best-selling cars in Indonesia, and Nissan said it would introduce its own crossover at a lower price point than its competitors to appeal to younger buyers.

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