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by Tim Beissmann

Datsun is back. Nissan has confirmed it is relaunching the humble automotive brand as its entry-level offering in emerging markets.

Sales of Datsun vehicles will begin in 2014 in India, Indonesia and Russia – 28 years after the brand was phased out in 1986.

Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn made the announcement yesterday in Indonesia, where he also confirmed the company would strengthen its production base and sales presence by producing 250,000 vehicles annually by 2014 and expanding its workforce to 3300 staff.

Datsun becomes the third brand under Nissan Motor Co., joining Nissan and luxury sports marque Infiniti, which arrives in Australia in the third quarter of 2012.

Nissan says Datsun will provide a “sustainable motoring experience to optimistic up-and-coming customers in high-growth markets”.

Although Datsun has a strong history in Australia and somewhat of a cult following among enthusiasts, we won’t see the brand relaunched here – at least in the short term.

The Japan-based parent company describes Datsun as an “important part of Nissan’s DNA”. Its origins can be dated back almost 100 years to a vehicle made in Tokyo in 1914 called the DAT.

Ghosn did not expand on Datsun’s upcoming vehicle line-up, but don’t get your hopes up for a reborn Fairlady roadster or 240Z coupe any time soon. The initial range is expected to comprise a number of inexpensive light and small cars and potentially SUVs to appeal to entry-level customers.




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