the hundreds and thousands who would have worked for the revival of the Datsun
brand, there would have been very few who would have been so closely associated
with the project as Ashwani Gupta, Global Program Director, Datsun, Nissan
perhaps his last interview at Datsun, he spoke to Motown India from Paris late
March 2014. Gupta has now joined as head of the Light commercial vehicles
division of Renault. “I will be located in Paris from April 1, 2014 and will report
directly to Carlos Ghosn,” said Gupta.
is a global brand with a local product. The global brand keeps the consistency
basically controlled by headquarters---Brand philosophy, brand mission and
brand signature. Local involves market intelligence, product concept,
engineering, purchasing, etc. In India it is in Chennai, in Russia it is
Togliatti, in South Africa it is Johannesburg and in Indonesia in Jakarta. In
Russia we are working with our Alliance partner Avtovaz,” he noted
Datsun story for him started somewhere in 2010 and early 2011. “We were
discussing about Power 88. When we did a study on the total industrial volumes,
it came up that 60pc of the TIV will be coming from the high growth markets. And
these are first time buyers,” he recalled.
who enjoys Bollywood films, travel and cooking for the family, made his point
clear by giving a very valid example. “It’s like localising pasta in Japan. How
many meals can you have till the time you do not have sushi?” he asked.
we looked at our heritage, we looked at what we have today, and we looked at
what could happen in 2015 and 2016. There was a very clear consistency between
what we did years ago with our heritage which is Datsun brand and what we are
doing today at Nissan which is a global brand with global product. I as a
programme director was involved with the rebirth of this concept,” he noted
with pride, adding that “It’s (Datsun GO) not part of my heart, but it’s my
have a great engineering centre in Chennai and what I did I used all the young
and capable engineers to do the development of the car. So along with the
experts as well as these engineers we did all the work in Chennai. Now my team
is very capable with the hardware as well as the software for developing a car.
We started from scratch. We translated customer insights into product concept
and then from product concept we had to do a marriage of customer discovery and
technical discovery. The result is the powerful Datsun GO,” he pointed out.
is my heart because I was involved from first day. I conceived the product, and
I delivered it,” he added.
cars will be produced in countries like India, Russia, Indonesia and South
Africa. Yet each country will have a car suited for its own use and would be
made to the liking of the local population.
Detailed report in April 2014 issue of
Motown India magazine
Photography Mohd Nasir
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