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#Datsun GO - still leading the A-segment pack two years on

Date: 31 Aug 2016 Author Type: Press Release
Author: Datsun
Source: Datsun

The Datsun legend is surging to new heights in South Africa. With just under two years back in the local market, and leading the competitive and ultra-challenging A-segment - there is no doubt that the brand is poised to remain a recognised leader on the local motoring scene.

Leading the challenge for Datsun’s ‘rebirth’ in South Africa has been the Datsun GO, which true to the values that have been part of Datsun’s history, has carved an enviable niche for itself in South Africa. Its target market, drivers in the 18 to 30 year old category - many of them first-time new car buyers - have responded to the opportunity to buy a vehicle that not only offers appealing styling, but also value for money motoring.

“South Africa is undoubtedly the most challenging market on the African continent. Motorists are knowledgeable and have their pick of brands when it comes to satisfying their needs. It is a unique market which literally offers a ‘global choice’ when it comes to cars, and competition for market share is fierce. This is particularly so when the economy isn’t faring well, people are budget conscious and buying a new car is a major decision that is not taken lightly,” says Vincent Cobee, Global Head of Datsun.

“However, we had no doubt that the Datsun GO, which had made its mark in several international markets, was the right vehicle to re-introduce the Datsun brand to South Africans. We also believed that the market was ready for a new entrant in the entry-level A-segment.

“We were confident that value for money and attractive maintenance and running costs would appeal to a young market looking for the opportunity to own a brand new car - one that had the personality underlining the feelings of freedom that are vital to trend-setting ‘Risers’ in the South African market.”

“The fact that we are announcing the broadening of the Datsun offering, with the Datsun GO+, proves that we are truly part of the local market. We are also excited to be offering the values that have made the Datsun GO a winner with individual motorists, to the business sector with the introduction of the GO+ Panel Van. This will appeal to business owners looking for an urban workhorse that carries the largest payload in its category, along with extremely attractive operating costs in the light commercial vehicle segment.”

Placing a ‘hands-on’ perspective on the achievements of the Datsun brand in South Africa, Des Fenner, General Manager of Datsun South Africa, pointed out that since its introduction in October 2014, The Datsun GO had:

  • Set a record in A–segment with an appealing total sticker price of R89 900, when it was first introduced.
  • Led A-segment sales during the period October 2014 to March 2015.
  • Recorded sales of 3 225 sales by July 2015.
  • Saw sales grow to 5 972 units by its first anniversary in October 2015 reinforcing its leader status.
  • On its first birthday in South Africa, won the authoritative 2015 Kinsey Report accolade for having the most attractively priced parts basket in in the entry-level motoring category in South Africa.

“Of all the achievements notched up by the Datsun GO in its short history, the Kinsey Report is undoubtedly the most significant, as it monitors the cost of everyday motoring,” said Mr Fenner.

The GO scored well in the three major categories to evaluate the costs of maintaining and repairing cars, and which were applied to a total of 74 vehicles across nine motoring categories (all costs monitored included VAT).

  • Category A: covers everyday replaceable items, such as air filters, spark/glow plugs, brake pads/shoes and wiper blades.
  • Category B: covers major items, such as cam belts, shock absorbers, clutch and pressure plates, flywheels, and fan belts.
  • Category C: looks at major replacement body costs, such as bonnets, grilles, doors, fenders and bumper skins, and light assemblies.

When all categories were taken into account, the total for the Datsun GO parts basket came in at a significant low of R37 631.73, ahead of its stable-mate, the second vehicle in the segment, the Nissan Micra (at R44 479.41).

Comparative costs for the same basket of spares for the most expensive vehicle in the entry level segment of the market came in at R91 209.93 - more than twice that of the Datsun GO!

“Our major achievement since re-entering South Africa has been making it possible for a new generation of drivers to acquire their first brand new vehicle, and so break through to independence.

“The Kinsey Report affirmed our other primary objective; making the Datsun GO one of the easiest and most economical vehicles to keep on the road, something that is particularly important when the present financial pressures on personal motoring budgets are considered,” said Mr Fenner.

“During July 2016, Naamsa reported that a total of 44 883 new vehicles were sold. This reflected a substantial decline, down by 9 222 vehicles (or 17%) of the 54 105 vehicles sold in the comparative month in 2015.

“In the same month, Naamsa also reported that total sales for cars with a cubic capacity of 1 400cc or less, totalled 2 507. Of these sales, the Datsun GO’s volume was 277 cars, making it the best seller in the A-segment.

“When compared to sales of more expensive models in other segments, the A-segment, based on sales, is undoubtedly the most sustainable in the present market. We expect sales to stay at around these levels with the Datsun GO+ and GO + Panel Van attracting additional sales for Datsun.

“Times may be tough, but there is always going to be an appetite for quality, attractively priced entry level models in South Africa. Our aim is to continue to provide choice to buyers needing to monitor their budgets without compromising on dealer support - something we now offer through 99 dealers across the country,” said Mr Fenner.