Russia: Renault-Nissan confident in the local market image

While the political tension is still growing because of Russia’s move to get the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine, the alliance is going about its business as usual, relaunching here the Datsun brand.

While last year and in the first three months of the year the new car sales continued to slow down, Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn is still confident about the investments made in the local production – they’re also in the process of taking over AvtoVAZ.

“We have no hesitation about the potential for the Russian market, said Ghosn. “At a certain moment it will be behind you. Our strategy doesn’t take into consideration short-term bumps but has to take into consideration trends and long-term potential.”

Such bumps are the now year-old slowdown and the geopolitical situation. Nevertheless, Renault-Nissan continues its move towards increasing its presence in the market, as the just revived low-cost Nissan brand – Datsun, is launching its on-Do sedan. The brand will act just like it does Dacia for Renault in the western Europe – attracting budget conscious clients to the brand, which could later on move upwards towards the other brand.

“I’m bullish on the market, I recognize the fact the market declined last year and will probably decline this year, but when we invest, we engage not for this year but five, 10, 20 years down the road,” Ghosn added.

As the chain of supply has not been disrupted by the recent economic sanctions, Datsun production would also benefit from the weak local currency, its production being based at AvtoVAZ’s Togliatti site and using local parts as much as possible.

Via Automotive News Europe