Nissan to End Datsun Output in Russia, Indonesia?

Bill Hampton

Nissan Motor Co. plans to stop making entry-level Datsun brand vehicles in Russia and Indonesia in 2020, sources tell The Nikkei.

The moves would end Indonesia as a hub for Datsun in southeast Asia, according to the newspaper. It says Nissan would halt the production and sale of Datsun models in Russia by OAO AvtoVAZ, an affiliate of the Renault-Nissan alliance.

The Nikkei report is unclear about Nissan’s intentions in India, where the company also produces Datsun models for the local market. Last year Nissan said it expected the bargain brand to help it multiply its share of the Indian market to 5% by fiscal 2022-2023 from less than 2% in fiscal 2017-2018.

When Nissan relaunched the Datsun brand in 2014, the company expected the marque eventually would reach annual sales of 300,000 units. But demand for the brand, whose cars sold for as little as $5,100, has never approached that volume.

In September, the Bangkok Post reported that Nissan had quietly slashed operations in Indonesia after local production of Nissan and Datsun brand vehicles plummeted 70% and 72%, respectively, in 2018.

Sources told Reuters a month later that Nissan might scrap the Datsun brand entirely. The sources say Datsun has been cannibalizing sales of more profitable Nissan models.