A few months ago, Datsun launched the Cross for the Indonesian market. It’s the production version of the Go Cross concept that was showcased at the 2016 Delhi Auto Expo and is offered with only petrol power. As the name suggests, it’s a crossover for the Datsun family and fills in a need for a body style that has pretty much consumed everything in its path across various segments.
What makes the Cross interesting is that it could be the new vehicle that could lift Datsun into the volumes game that it desperately needs to play (to remain competitive as a budget manufacturer) and here is why we think so…
SUV/Crossover is the new ‘in’ thing
SUVs are dominating the headlines everywhere. Everyone wants a piece of action and are introducing the body style across the range. In fact, the SUV/crossover body style has claimed the D-segment sedan, C-segment sedan and will soon even claim the likes of the A-segment and B-segment hatchbacks. Reports suggest that last year, SUVs/crossovers claimed a 34 per cent share of global car sales! It seems logical then that Datsun would also jump into this bandwagon and introduce a vehicle in this body style in this part of the market before others catch up.
Competition for B-segment and entry-level B+segment models
A few years ago everything was demarcated in terms of where each car sat in the market. There are cars to fill every price range as there are buyers willing to put in different amounts for closely priced cars. Looking at the features and what the Cross offers, it can easily compete against the likes of all the B-segment cars like the Tiago, Wagon R, Tata Tigor and even the Maruti Ignis. Higher spec versions of the car can also take on entry-level version of the Swift, Grand i10, KUV100 and the Ford Freestyle.
We feel that the Go Plus could move down a notch as this is a body style that has gone out of favour with majority of private buyers. This would free up resources and space for Datsun to sell more variants of the Cross without spending more than required.
To recap, the Cross was unveiled in Indonesia recently. It makes use of the same shell as the Go Plus but with all the crossover bits to give it a distinct appeal. Highlights of the car include projector headlamps, LED DRLs, touchscreen infotainment system and for the first time, a CVT.
We reached out to Datsun for a comment on the Cross’ arrival in India and our query was met with a tight lipped response. We believe that it will come to India in early 2019 and be offered with both petrol and CVT power.