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Nissan to give Africa a taste of its Datsun brand

Nissan Motor Company will expand its business in Africa by rolling out its Datsun brand and doubling it South African production capacity over the next few years

The steps will be directed at competing better with its Indian and Chinese rivals for lower-income consumers in Africa.

The automaker has plans to spend around US$122mn to double its production in South Africa to tap into the lucrative market.

According to Nissan, “The company already had plans to restart Datsun brand’s business in Indonesia, India and Russia targeted at first-time buyers in emerging markets. But, winning market share amidst Africa’s cautious new middle class needs a cheap entry-level vehicle.”

Nissan chief operating officer Toshiyuki Shiga said, “The Korean manufacturers, the Indians and Chinese are more aggressive in emerging markets.

“To penetrate emerging markets like the Africa, a special product is needed. Hence Nissan plans to roll out the Datsun brand in Africa,” he added.

Nissan has faced tough competition from India’s Tata Motors and China’s Geely Automobile Holdings in Africa as they have been veterans in producing more low-income models than Nissan and Japan’s Toyota Motor Corp.

At present, Nissan makes around 90,000 cars a year in Africa, with about 50,000 manufactured in South Africa. 

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