Nissan aims to triple Datsun sales with new markets


KARACHI • Nissan Motor Co is looking to triple sales of its low-cost Datsun vehicles by 2022 as the Japanese carmaker seeks to revive an 87-year-old brand it resurrected about five years ago.

Growth will mainly come from markets in Africa, Middle East and South Asia, Peyman Kargar, senior VP at Nissan, said in an interview in Karachi on Wednesday. After Pakistan, Datsun will soon enter Algeria, a country that recently curbed imports to encourage local production.

The Yokohama, Japanbased company is betting big on the Datsun brand to challenge rivals such as Suzuki Motor Corp and Toyota Motor Corp’s Daihatsu, aiming for a third of deliveries in markets where it is introduced. Sales so far have fallen below the company’s expectations, with 150,000 units sold annually in the four main markets — India, Indonesia, Russia and South Africa.

“We have restarted this brand, new products are coming and we are working on how to really gather all the promises and all ingredients of this brand,’’ Kargar said.

He was in Karachi to announce a manufacturing and licensing agreement with Pakistani partner Ghandhara Nissan Ltd.

In Pakistan, Nissan’s local partner will invest 4.5 billion Pakistani rupees (RM150.81 million) over four years at an existing facility to make Datsun cars. Sales will start in mid-2019, Kargar said. Nissan plans to add new Datsun models in South Africa and expects its market share to rise by two percentage points to 12% next year.