India is not a “me too” market: FADA at the end of the road for Datsun

FADA Chairman Vikesh Gulati argued in favor of the Auto Dealer Protection Act, citing the exit of several automotive suppliers from India and the impact of these decisions.

By : HT automatic office
|
Written by : Mainak Das
|
Updated:
April 21, 2022, 5:21 PM

Datsun has announced that it has stopped production of redi-GO at its Chennai plant.

Nissan-owned Datsun has become the latest car brand after Chevrolet, Fiat and UM Motorcycles to announce its exit from the Indian market. Responding to Datsun’s decision to exit the Indian market, Vinkesh Gulati, President of the Federation of Automobile Dealers Associations (FADA), told HT Auto that global auto brands should view India as a “me too” market. . “With the release of yet another automotive brand from India, it is clear that global automotive suppliers cannot view India as another or a ‘me too’ market,” he added.

(Also read: Datsun leaves India: Reason and impact)

Datsun only had a tiny market share of 0.09% in India last year with just 4,296 units sold in the January-December 2021 period. However, despite such a tiny market share, the automaker automobile has about 185 dealerships across India who are said to be in trouble due to the OEM decision. Speaking about this, Gulati said dealerships will lose the hard-earned money they invested in the brand. Speaking further, he highlighted the job loss factor due to Datsun’s exit. “There’s a huge loss of jobs when an auto brand closes. In the case of Datsun, around 20,000 dealership workers will lose their jobs,” he said.

Gulati also argued for the need for a car dealer protection law which the FADA has been demanding for a few years since General Motors announced the exit of Chevrolet from India. “A car dealer protection law is needed so that customers, as well as dealers, are protected in such circumstances when a car brand leaves the country without compensating dealers and customers,” added the president of the FADA.

Talking about the reason behind the automaker’s exit from India, the chairman of the auto dealership governing body said that Datsun as a brand has never picked up the pace with quality not matching the Indian consumer. “There is no doubt that India is a price-sensitive market, but Indians also need to get value for money as vehicles remain an ambitious purchase,” Gulati added.

He also hopes that Nissan, as a brand, will continue to provide uninterrupted service to all of its customers and aftermarket parts, will not become a similar issue to General Motors. Since General Motors’ decision to leave India in 2017, spare parts and services for Chevrolet cars are currently not available in India.

Date of first publication: April 21, 2022, 4:57 PM IST

About the author