It’s hard enough to find a decent used car for $3,000. Nissan’s new line of Datsun cars are being designed in mind with a starting price of $3,000, and there’s only one way to make sure the cars come in at such a rock-bottom sticker – use a pre-existing low-cost platform.
The first Datsuns will be based off the Lada Kalina. Renault-Nissan recently took control of AutoVAZ, Lada’s parent company, enabling the transfer of technology between the two marques, as well as the utilization of production facilities in Russia. CEO Carlos Ghosn is betting big on Russia, and both Datsun and Lada are part of his plans for expansion in what is set to become Europe’s largest car market by the end of the decade.
Lada cars will ostensibly positioned above their Datsun brethren, something unthinkable in the pre-globalization era. Remarks by Nissan’s Colin Dodge appeared to be trying to put a fair amount of distance between Lada and Datsun, with Dodge telling Automotive News Europe
The cars will use a modular platform with shared elements such as braking and fuel systems as well as steering mechanicals, Dodge said. However, he stressed that Datsuns would differ visually from the Russian subcompact. “The upper body and interior will be completely different, You won’t notice it as a Lada,”