Nissan kills the Datsun brand... again

Nissan is struggling under the weight of a COVID-19 sales dive - but it was in trouble before that

datsun go

Following our story of other Japanese carmakers struggling this week, Nissan has emerged as a brand in need of a lifeline as it struggles for its future.

Reports from Bloomberg News state that the ailing Japanese manufacturer is going to make 300 billion yen (AUD$4.3 billion) in cuts, which will see one existing unnamed production line shut, as well as the death of the Datsun brand for a second time.

nissan factory

Research and development, marketing and other costs are set to be trimmed as well, in order to hit the reduced spending target which will be outlined as part of a three-year plan announcement on May 28.

Datsun as a brand was previously retired in 1986 but was revived in 2013 as a budget-focused entity for emerging markets like India, Russia and Indonesia.

It sold cars like the $10,000 Go which was largely based on the Micra, but included minimal niceties like infotainment to keep prices low.   

The resurgent brand struggled in Asia in recent years, before Go factories in Indonesia were shuttered late last year before the closure of the nameplate yet again. 

Groupe Renault

Nissan could potentially lean on Renault’s established budget sub-brand Dacia to supply cars in markets where the Nissan name is strong, but this is yet to be decided.

Nissan hasn’t had the most enjoyable past few years, with profits sliding for the past three years in a row, an ageing line-up and turmoil within its ranks due to the Carlos Ghosn scandal hurting its market standing.

Speaking of the great Ghosn escape, it's been revealed that seven people will be charged in Turkey with aiding his escape to Lebanon, including four pilots and two flight attendants who work for a private Turkish airline that smuggled Ghosn out of Japan in a large box.

nissan qashqai ti

Nissan - along with other Japanse carmakers - has sought 500 billion yen (AUD$7.2 billion) in financing from Japanese lenders in order to weather the coronavirus crisis, but it’ll take more than money to set the brand on the straight and narrow for its future.

We’ll know more about the company’s plans late this month.


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