In a shock development, Nissan is reportedly considering offloading the Datsun brand amidst a complete brand restructuring following the axing of former CEO Carlos Ghosn.
According to an article by Reuters, an internal report, dubbed the “performance recovery plan”, has been drawn-up in an attempt to emerge from not only the financial crisis brought on by Ghosn’s sacking and ultimate arrest for alleged financial misconduct earlier this year, but to ease the Japanese automaker’s strained relationship with long-time alliance partner Renault.
Based on the publication’s claims, the plan will not only involve the disposing of underperforming models, but also the closing of underutilised factories that could inflict the most damage on the Datsun brand re-launched by Ghosn in 2013 as low-cost division aimed at developing markets such as India, Indonesia, Russia and South Africa.
While the plan will call for the freeing up of more resources for key Nissan markets such as the United States and China, the direct result will have an impact on Datsun, whose revival six years ago after being phased-out in favour of Nissan in 1986, has caused significant problems with sales in developing markets often impacting on those of its parent marque.
“We ended up pushing two mainstream brands in a market where you have a one or two percent market share. You cannot do that,” an unnamed Nissan source was quoted as saying in reference to Datsun sales having eaten into those of Nissan in Indonesia, Russia, India and South Africa.
The implementing of the mentioned recovery plan and alleged lunging of Datsun will therefore reverse the aims of the so-called five year Plan 88 drawn up by Ghosn, which called for bigger profits and global market share of eight percent by 2016, neither of which were reached.