Three decades after the brand was killed in favor of the Nissan name, Datsun makes a comeback. It used to be the company’s flagship auto brand in the United States. Nissan is planning to use the brand for its budget cars in emerging markets. Nissan and Infiniti brands will remain higher tier brands than Datsun.
Last Monday, Nissan unveiled the new Datsun Go sedan in Delhi, India. Present in the launch are Carlos Ghosn, CEO of Nissan and Renault. Go is a front drive hatchback that was designed in Japan and developed at the Renault-Nissan Alliance plant at Oragadam, India.
The Datsun Go will be available on the market early next year in India with a price tag of less than 400,000 rupees or around $6,600. It has a 1.2 liter, three-cylinder engine with five speed transmission. Other target markets for Datsun entry level models are Indonesia, Russia and South Africa. Nissan officials in the US said that no Datsun models are intended for the North American market.
The present day Datsun cars will not be like the sporty Datsun 510 sedan or the 240z coupe that was popular in the US in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The new Datsun cars could bring new customers in emerging markets without diluting the Nissan brand.
The Datsun Go is a five door, front wheel drive hatchback that is around 12 and a half feet long and comes with a 1.2 liter engine. Nissan said that it provides optimal response time in congested traffic. The car is targeting the growing middle class in India. The name Go reflects the class’ dreams. The car features a docking station for smartphones to allow access to music and photos stored in the devices.
Nissan said that the name was also inspired by DAT’s first car in 1914, which was the DAT-GO. Nissan Heavy Industries purchased the company in the 1930s.