By on March 1, 2012

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.

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16 Comments on “Nissan To Revive Datsun For Low Cost Car Brand?...”

  • avatar

    Weird. Datsun had a much better image in the USA than the Nissan name ever has.

    Maybe they should do the reverse, revive a vaunted name and use the Nissan name for junk like the Cube and Sentra.

    • 0 avatar

      I think the opposite was true in the UK, as nearly every Datsun that ever made it to UK shores swiftly turned into a pile of iron oxide. I remember that as the name Datsun was phased out and Nissan phased in during the early 80’s, the quality of the paint jobs and the steel on the cars seemed to increase, meaning the tendency for ones car to spontaneously oxidize overnight significantly decreased. Whilst still not perfect, by the early 90’s Nissan’s rust prevention was on a par with most other cars being sold at the time.

      • 0 avatar

        It was the same in Canada as well. Seemed like every Datsun was made of tin….didn’t last very long. My guess is that we would never see the Datsun name in the “developed” world.

  • avatar

    V-platform is possible. That would make it a very Nissan-based low-cost vehicle program rather than using Alliance tech. Up till now most ultra low-cost vehicle programs have been based around Dacia’s (Renault) platform which uses very different manufacturing processes to V. Its more suited to older-style more labour-centric production processes with lower setup costs and less automation. Its ideal for places with very low labour costs. V-platform is more of an uber-low cost modern production method platform. It makes use of extensive automation and the full Nissan production system. Two very different approaches to low cost.

    Its been confirmed Nissan and renault are both building cars in the Lada plant in Togliatti factory under the dacia labour-intensive system and will be soon in the Alliances new morrocan plant (initially just renault) so it makes sense to ramp up volumes at these newly started facilities

    Also, V-plat can go down a mixed line with B-platform so V plants dont necessarily need the volume.

    Essentially what Im getting at is that while V makes sense, using dacia’s platform and newly started, underutilised factories makes a lot of sense too.

  • avatar

    Here come the Datsun Sandero, Logan and Lodgy!

    • 0 avatar

      Maybe in Europe and USA. In South America, they’ll all be Nissans in order to squeeze more money before there are real safety regulations in place.

  • avatar

    Datsuns are definitely a better recognized brand here than Nissan ever was, because back then Datsuns were quite a big presence in the car market, and right around when they switched to Nissan, they also disappeared from the Indonesian market. They came back only about a decade ago, so the Datsun name is a better rooted name here.

  • avatar
    pecos bill

    Bring back the B210 Honeybee!

  • avatar
    Sammy B

    do whatever the heck you want, but PLEASE try to conjure up some sort of 510 replacement :) heck, I’d even settle for a return-to-form sentra SE-R [like the B13 or B14]. the current one does a disservice to the legend. And while I’m making requests, the fact that neither the Altima or Maxima can be had with a proper manual transmission is a travesty!

    you’re better than that Nissan!

  • avatar

    It would be nice if someone could figure out how to make a profitable $7k for the US. I’m sure it would make a Yaris look like a Lexus LS, but there have to be people that consider it a better option than a 10-year-old Accord with 200k miles and a salvage title for the same price.

    The used car bubble makes this a perfect time for a car like that.

  • avatar

    Yes…Now bring back the B-210

  • avatar

    Mmm…Datsun pick-em-up truck. naturally aspirated 4-pot diesel. Make mine non-metallic beige (with racing stripes!).

    18 seconds zero-to-sixty. 50 miles to the gallon of whatever-the-hell you-want-to-put-in-it. That thing was like the Mr. Fusion of the ’80s…banana peels, beer, baby pewp, maybe some diesel once in a while, whatev.

    I’d pay $7,000.00 for that in a New York minute.

  • avatar

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

  • avatar

    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)

  • avatar

    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.

  • avatar

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

    Dat soon?

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