Datsun Returns, Officially

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
datsun returns officially

When, some seven weeks ago, the Nikkei had the rumor that Nissan would revive its Datsun brand for low cost cars, targeted at emerging markets, official sources at Nissan – not surprisingly – had no comment.

One not so charitable source at Nissan conceded that “this time, the Nikkei is less on crack than sometimes.” Another more diplomatic source said: ”I guess you can expect a press release soon.”

That press release arrived today.

Nissan CEO Carlos Ghson was in Indonesia yesterday, and, says the press release:

“While talking to the media, Ghosn announced the return of the Datsun brand, Nissan’s third global brand, alongside Nissan and Infiniti. Datsun will provide sustainable motoring experience to optimistic up-and-coming customers in high-growth markets. Datsun represents 80 years of accumulated Japanese carmaking expertise and is a important part of Nissan’s DNA. Datsun vehicles will start sales in India, Indonesia, and Russia from 2014.”

According to Reuters, “Nissan plans to invest $400 million in Indonesia over the next two years, will double hiring by 2014 and triple its dealerships in Southeast Asia’s largest economy to 90,000.” (The latter will probably see a correction.)

Indonesia, a country of 237 million spread over more than 17,000 islands, is one of the growth markets in South-East Asia. Due to its proximity, this market is in the cross-hairs of Japanese makers. Toyota currently owns 90 percent of the market. Nissan wants to change this.

Comments
Join the conversation
3 of 30 comments
  • Robc123 Robc123 on Mar 20, 2012

    Look at the legacy of the datsun brand on nissan maxima was datsun z cars were datsun they could do a scion thing with the brand. What would be really neat is if they took a bit of styling risk with their new small cars that they want to make.

    • Les Les on Mar 21, 2012

      This is a surprisingly excellant Idea.. to my knowledge the Datsun name still has a bit of a decent rep in the US (sans rust fiascos), do this, and bring back compact picups, and refrain from allowing models under the Datsun brand to succumb to margin-chasing bloat and Nissan could be onto something here.

  • Inside Looking Out Inside Looking Out on Mar 25, 2012

    Ha, US automakers drastically cut number of brands and Japanese adding more. History repeat itself twice. Toyota/Lexus/Scion/Subaru/Daihatsu - wow a lot. Nissan/Infinity/Datsun/Renault/Dacia/Lada and those only ones I know about. Poor Honda - only two brands and one is almost dead.

  • MaintenanceCosts This looks really surprisingly different from the Blazer EV. It's more boring, but it's also more Honda, and for that reason alone it will be taken a lot more seriously in US markets.
  • ToolGuy I found this interesting; you might too: https://youtu.be/asb4jLWWTbQ
  • SCE to AUX Q: "How do you fix automotive media?A: The same way you fix the auto show.That is to say: Don't live in the past, believing every story is original with you. Offer something insightful and useful to your audience that they can't get anywhere else.The auto show allows consumers to sit inside many vehicles under one roof, without sales pressure - something unavailable anywhere else. That's it. The media should accept that the auto show offers nothing new for them anymore, and the auto show should stop pretending that it does.Good examples:[list][*]I've flamed Posky many times, but his long background stories can be thought-provoking and informative. I may not always agree with some of the posturing, but at least they dig deeper than someone's press release.[/*][*]Alex on Autos has some of the best video reviews. He wastes absolutely no time getting to the substance, and his formula is reliable. He packs a lot into 25 minutes.[/*][*]Everyday Reviews: This likeable couple/family covers the daily life aspects of new cars they test - child car seats, user interface, fuel economy, and so on. No hype - just useful.[/*][/list]Bad examples:[list][*]DragTimes: In a 20-minute video, you get 1 minute of racing and 19 minutes of bromance talk. I keep hoping it will improve, but it doesn't.[/*][*]Road and Track's web page is heavily tilted toward unaffordable niche sports cars and racing, with a few feature articles on daily drivers. I visit, but it feels like I'm in a Porsche dealership.[/*][/list]
  • BSttac Honestly automotive journalism is all but dead. Its mostly bloggers with a left based agenda. Cnet and the Drive especially had some really horrible bloggers. Road and Track also has some terrible bloggers so it would not surprise me if they are next. Just look at most bloggers complain about going to an automotive show when they dont realize its not even for them. Very spoiled and out of touch individuals
  • Jkross22 I forgot to include Bring a Trailer. It's so enjoyable to revisit cars from different eras and to read what the most knowlegable have to say about those types of cars.
Next