India not a 'me too' market: FADA on end of road for Datsun
Nissan owned Datsun has become the latest automobile 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 Federation of Automobile Dealers Associations (FADA), said to HT Auto that global auto brands should consider India as a ‘me too’ market. “With one more auto brand's exit from India, it is clear that global auto OEMs cannot think of India as yet another or a 'me too' market," he added.
(Also read: Datsun exits India: Reason and impact of it)
Datsun had only a minuscule 0.09 per cent market share in India last year with only 4,296 units sold during the January-December period of 2021. However, despite having such a minuscule market share, the automaker has around 185 dealers across India who would face trouble due to the OEM's decision. Speaking about this, Gulati said that the dealers will lose the hard-earned money which they had invested in the brand. Speaking further, he pointed out the job loss factor due to Datsun's exit. “There is a huge employment loss when an auto brand shuts shop. In case of Datsun, around 20,000 employees at dealerships will lose their jobs," he said.
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Gulati also advocated for the need for an Auto Dealers Protection Act that FADA has been demanding for the last few years since General Motors announced Chevrolet's exit from India. “An Auto Dealers Protection Act is the need of the hour so that customers, as well as dealers, are protected in such circumstances when an auto brand leaves the country without compensating the dealers and customers," the FADA President further added.
Speaking about the reason behind the automaker's exit from India, the auto dealers' governing body president said that Datsun as a brand never picked up the pace with quality not matching the Indian Consumer. “No doubt, India is a price-sensitive market, but Indians also need good buck for their money as vehicles remain an aspirational purchase," Gulati added.
He also hopes that Nissan, as a brand would continue to give uninterrupted service to all its customers and spares, do not become an issue similar to General Motors. Since General Motors's decision to exit India in 2017, the spares and services of the Chevrolet cars are not available in India currently.