Datsun was a car brand that later became Nissan. It is still remembered because of its impressive sportscars that were popular in USA and Asian countries and later spawned many other Nissan sportscars. However, when it was reborn in March 2012 it was clear that Datsun place in automotive world has changed, which was further highlighted at the Tokyo Motor Show.
Now Datsun is a third layer of Nissans automotive brand composition, Infiniti being representative of luxury car market, Nissan – affordable reliable cars and sportscars and Datsun – cheap cars meant for high-growth markets such as Africa, Middle East, South East Asia.
Cheap car brands rarely get attention from the media, especially automotive journalists, but are extremely important for the development of so called underdeveloped world. They provide possibilities to travel to those people who struggle to purchase more expensive cars, which allows them to reach for bigger goals. After first Datsun cars after rebirth of the brand were sold in India in March 2014, company already sold more than 100,000 new Datsuns in India, Indonesia, Russia and South Africa.
Vincent Cobee, Global Head of Datsun, said: “we have successfully completed the first phase of our return, and we feel proud that through our vehicles more than 100,000 customers have been able to make their dream of personal mobility a reality. In fact, the latest figure of cars sold since Datsun GO was launched in India in March 2014 now stands at 114 000 units. Our expansion plans include the continued growth of sales and service networks in our four existing markets, while expanding our offering to three models in India. There, we will launch a totally new model at the beginning of 2016, which will be the first Nissan Motor model based on the new Renault-Nissan Alliance CMF-A architecture”.
He also notes that soon Datsun will be looking at expansion to these regions in order to sell more cars. Datsun is already looking at African market. For this purpose company need to introduce new cars to drag more attention to the newly reborn brand.
The Tokyo Motor Show is a place where the new Datsun GO-cross Concept was unveiled. Company says that this concept explores the definition of cross-over, adding a spirit and a sense of adventure to it. Looking at its photos, it is clear that Datsun GO-cross has raised suspension, which would allow for some off-road capabilities, although all-wheel-drive system is not mentioned. Instead company says that the car would be useful for the day-to-day routine and some weekend fun and adventures.
For those familiar with automotive history, return of the brand is very good news, although it is not what it used to be before. Datsun originated in Japan in 1914 as DAT-GO (the DAT-car). DAT meant ‘lightning-fast’ in Japanese, but also was made from the first letter of the names of the three financiers who supported the business at the time: Den, Aoyama and Takeuchi. It was also explained as Durable, Attractive and Trustworthy. Now it is said that core values of the Datsun are Dream, Access and Trust, which is visible in the latest concept. Now we can only wait and see whether with time some of the sporting fun will return to the brand.