The decline in the South African economy may have hit new car sales, but despite falling transaction figures, the hotly contested A-segment for entry level cars has produced sterling results for Datsun. The brand saw its sales bolstered by the introduction of the Datsun GO+ and the GO+ Panel Van, both of which use the same running gear as the base model Datsun GO.
New car sales across the market in May 2016 were 27 143 units, with this figure dropping to 26 317 in May this year, showing a 3% decrease. Although this statistic showed sales to be holding up remarkably well, cognisance had to be taken that sales recorded in May 2015 were 10% up on the 2016 sales. Sales were therefore continuing their year-on-year downward trend, says Des Fenner, General Manager of Datsun South Africa.
Sales figures for the A-segment were, however, still attracting buyers as people searched the market for cars that provided value for money, affordable motoring. Datsun sales reflected this trend perfectly, says Mr Fenner.
“The Naamsa statistics show that sales of the Datsun GO reached 310 units in May 2016, with this figure dropping to 269 vehicles in May 2017. However, this figure must be seen in the context of the Datsun GO+ and Datsun GO+ Panel Van models being introduced during the latter part of 2016.”
“During May this year, sales of the Datsun GO+ and GO+ Panel Van, which also sit in the A-segment, totalled 250 cars. As such, total sales for Datsun in May 2017 were 519 units. This indicates gratifying growth for the Datsun brand. The Datsun GO+ extends the reach of the GO series into the multi-purpose vehicle (MPV) market, while the Datsun GO+ Panel Van is an ideal light commercial vehicle (LCV) for SMEs.
“Sales of the Datsun GO show that it continues to be an attractive, affordable option for South Africans. In many cases, it has become the car of choice for those entering the new car market for the first time.”
“The Datsun GO+, which shares the same running gear as the Datsun GO, has extended this popularity by gaining market acceptance with buyers looking for a car that offers the option of carrying up to seven people. On the other hand, the Datsun GO+ Panel Van is a great option for small businesses needing to collect and deliver small to medium sized parcels or goods.”
“There is no doubt that with 250 sales in May, we can look forward to the Datsun GO+ and GO+ Panel Van maintaining their position and helping to further entrench Datsun in the South African market.”
“The entry level, A-segment is one of the most competitive segments in the market. Datsun, which introduced the Datsun GO in South Africa in 2014, has established a strong presence in a relatively short time, despite being the ‘new boy on the block’. Datsun sales have held up well because of the value, styling and affordable motoring they offer buyers,” says Mr Fenner.
“Datsun is confident that as long as the present economic downturn continues, more buyers will be attracted to the A-segment,” says Mr Fenner.
This is because the value offered is multi-faceted, providing buyers with the chance to acquire a new car paying reasonable monthly instalments, and simultaneously being able to reap the benefits of lower insurance, operating and maintenance costs.
“Insurance costs are rising because of the increasing cost of imported parts and replacement panels for vehicles. Keeping these premiums low, and having reasonable maintenance costs, significantly reduces the total cost of ownership of the Datsun GO, Datsun GO+ and Datsun GO+ Panel Van.”
“Buyers concerned about the costs of car ownership will consider that for two years running Datsun has been found to be the most affordable car to maintain and repair. The proof lies in the pages of the respected and independent Kinsey Report, which accurately reflects the cost of motoring in South Africa,” concludes Mr Fenner.