Nissan To Revive Datsun For Low Cost Car Brand?

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt

We have been keeping one eye on the Nissan/Renault plans for low cost cars for a while. All indications have been that the alliance is working on a car that could sell in the neighborhood of $5,000 and still make a profit. The secret of doing this is spreading the development effort over as many units as possible.

Today, The Nikkei [sub] writes that Nissan will resurrect its Datsun brand in order to sell low-priced cars in emerging markets. According what the Nikkei “learned” without naming sources, the cars will initially be built and sold in India, Indonesia and Russia. Allegedly, Nissan hopes to “achieve annual sales of 300,000 Datsuns a year soon.”

According to the Nikkei story, the cars will be built on Nissan’s low-cost V-platform, with 90 percent or more local content. “In India, a vehicle with an engine displacement slightly above 1 liter is expected to sell for around 300,000 rupees ($6000,)” The Nikkei says. According to the Tokyo business paper,

“The vehicles will meet safety standards but shed inessential features, such as cabin noise reduction. They will use inexpensive parts and materials, and their warranty periods will be shorter than those of Nissans and Infinitis. The automaker also plans to set up Datsun dealerships with relatively low operating costs.”

It is 3:45 am in Tokyo, obviously no time to get confirmation on this.

Bertel Schmitt
Bertel Schmitt

Bertel Schmitt comes back to journalism after taking a 35 year break in advertising and marketing. He ran and owned advertising agencies in Duesseldorf, Germany, and New York City. Volkswagen A.G. was Bertel's most important corporate account. Schmitt's advertising and marketing career touched many corners of the industry with a special focus on automotive products and services. Since 2004, he lives in Japan and China with his wife <a href=""> Tomoko </a>. Bertel Schmitt is a founding board member of the <a href=""> Offshore Super Series </a>, an American offshore powerboat racing organization. He is co-owner of the racing team Typhoon.

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4 of 16 comments
  • Rj_shiver Rj_shiver on Mar 01, 2012

    Datsun have a bad image in Indonesia, I think it only sell in USA

  • Obruni Obruni on Mar 02, 2012

    Nissan already sells Indian-made cars in Europe: the Micra and Pixo. for those that are unfamiliar, The Micra used to be made in the UK and Japan, but now it is made in India, China, Thailand, and Mexico. and the Pixo is a rebadged Suzuki Alto. the automatic version has the honor of being the slowest accelerating car you can buy in Europe today (0-60 in 17 seconds)

  • Manu06 Manu06 on Mar 02, 2012

    I'd just like Nissan to bring back the Patrol. I think a small off road vehicle would have a potential market. Jeep has that whole segment to themselves.

  • Akitadog Akitadog on Mar 02, 2012

    Nissan hopes to “achieve annual sales of 300,000 Datsuns a year soon.” Dat soon?