Datsun has added South Africa to its list of target markets, announcing plans to launch a new passenger vehicle in the country by the end of 2014.
Datsun, a derivative of the Nissan Motor Co., will return to South Africa - where it was phased out in 1981 as Datsun was integrated with Nissan - as the Japanese brand expands its sales plans into four destinations along with India, Indonesia and Russia.
While Nissan says the first model to be introduced will be a new passenger vehicle, a broader range of Datsun vehicles are anticipated for the future as the brand re-establishes itself alongside Nissan and Infiniti.
Nissan corporate vice president and head of Datsun, Vincent Cobee, said the return of Datsun was integral to Nissan’s expansion into fast-growing markets.
“Datsun's key values – accessible, reliable and modern – are designed to accommodate the needs and aspirations of this target group, just as it did for similarly optimistic customers in Japan, America and a large part of the world during most of the 20th century," Cobee said.
Nissan South Africa managing director Mike Whitfield said his company was delighted that South Africa would be a destination for Datsun vehicles once again, following the launch of the Infiniti brand there last year.
“Datsun enjoyed a proud heritage in the country after the Bluebird made its debut at the Pretoria Show in 1958, the 120Y and SSS models were household names, before going on to become the number one brand between 1976 and 1978."
The planned move into South Africa follows Nissan’s decision to re-introduce the Datsun brand as part of the company's ‘Nissan Power 88’ plan of achieving eight per cent of the global market share and eight per cent operating profit by fiscal year 2016.