“Drive a Datsun, then decide,” was the tag line for the Japanese automotive newcomer that had just begun to sell its line of small, inexpensive cars to American consumers in the 1970s. By the mid-1980s, the Datsun name disappeared as parent Nissan decided to use its own name globally.
New Delhi Reveal
Nissan is resurrecting the Datsun name and brand, and will unveil the first of several models that will bear the budget brand’s face and badging on July 15 in New Delhi, India. It will mark the global reintroduction of a new brand that will target emerging markets such as India with cars priced from well below $10,000. Nissan has no plans to reintroduce Datsun to North America.
The sketch featured here was just one of two released by Nissan earlier this week. The new model will be revealed just 16 months after Nissan announced Datsun’s return, a move that other manufacturers may not match. Instead, competing automakers are likely to continue supporting established brands, by producing models that will match Datsun.
Local Market Considerations
Following its Indian introduction, the first models are expected to go on sale in India, Indonesia and Russia in 2014 followed by South Africa later in the year. And, unlike the global development of models for multiple markets, Datsun vehicles will be developed with the local market in mind. Thus, what India receives may be far different from what Datsun will sell in other markets.
Nissan says that Datsun models will offer consumers an “engaging driving experience, peace of mind ownership and accessibility at the right and transparent price with a competitive total cost of ownership.” Pricing has not been announced, although Auto Trends previously shared that a $3,000 to $5,000 price point was the target. That would put Datsun within range of Tata and its diminutive Nano model, currently the lowest-priced car in the world.
Datsun Reliability and Durability
As Nissan moves toward its Datsun reveal, the company has stressed that its new products will be both reliable and durable as well as accessible to consumers. That’s a point not lost on critics who wonder if Datsun will take short cuts and serve up low-quality vehicles to an unsuspecting public.
Datsuns will be locally produced, enabling Nissan to harness economies of scale. Nissan says that its own engineers and stylists are behind Datsun products and says that it is “a new brand for the 21st-century risers.” Check back with Auto Trends after the reveal for more details about the new Datsun. Meanwhile, you can follow brand developments on the new Datsun website.
See Also — Nissan: Drive a Datsun, Then Decide
Sketch courtesy of Nissan.