Datsun unfazed by grey imports

DATSUN is not deterred by grey imports proliferated in the market as it believes, its product is competitively priced to outshine competition.


Des Fenner, general manager for Datsun South Africa, told NewsDay that their products had been faring well following introduction in the country a few years ago.

“The uptake of the product has been very good, most importantly for us is we are not getting any comebacks. People are buying the cars and they are happy and that for me is plus factor. We don’t normally disclose our sales volumes, but we wouldn’t be here if we didn’t expect to do some substantial volumes.

“I think for the first time we have got a product offering. Hopefully as things move on, we can keep the price affordable in a comparison to grey imports,” he said at the sidelines of Datsun launch in Zimbabwe last week.

Datsun unveiled the Datsun GO, GO+ as well as the Datsun GO+ PV (panel van), which is designed to exceed aspirations of a new generation of customers and attract first-time new car buyers.

“We have done in many countries with grey imports and we have managed to do extremely well.

“So I am being coy am not giving the numbers but these three products plus more to come next year they will do well,” he said.

According to motor sales industry 2017 report, Datsun sales fell to 97 in last year from 126 in 2016.

Datsun has manufacturing plants in India, Indonesia and Russia with Nissan South Africa distributing the product in Southern Africa.

Fenner said there were no immediate plans to set up a manufacturing plant in Southern Africa as this would be done once the product demand grows in the region.

“These are exciting times for Datsun and we are very proud and privileged to expand the brand beyond South African. Datsun has always been committed to providing cars that are reliable and attractively priced and we are pleased to be able to provide this offering to consumers in Zimbabwe,” he said.

This comes at a time the government has promulgated the Zimbabwe Motor Industry Development Policy running from this year to 2030 which will phase out second hand vehicles. It is intended that this would stimulate the local motor industry to its former heights last seen in 1997.

The 2017 cumulative new vehicles sales tumbled by 7,45% to 3 154 due to among other things , forex woes.
In 2016, new vehicle sales were 3 408.

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