By on December 18, 2013


Nissan last sold a car branded as a Datsun in 1981, but it’s bring the brand back for emerging markets like Indonesia, India, Russia and South Africa. The low cost brand will be launching in April in Russia with a starting price below RUB400,000 ($12,100) and go on sale there in late summer or early fall. Nissan is hoping that the new/old brand will attract consumers that had been considering used cars.

“The main objective (in Russia) is to be a serious alternative to the used car market – this is where we want to compete,” Jerome Saigot, director of Datsun’s operations in Russia, told Reuters. Though Russia has a growing middle class with disposable income, an aging fleet and relatively few per capita cars, the Russian economy has slowed and analysts expect new car sales to be down between five and six percent from last year. About six million used cars change hands in Russia every year.

Saigot said that there is is room for growth in lower-cost cars. About one fourth of new vehicle sales in Russia are in the sub-RUB400,000 segment, representing about 700,000 units. That figure is expected to rise to 900,000 cars by 2017 as the overall market grows.

“It is a big piece of the market where we don’t have any offer in the Nissan line-up,” Saigot said. “The risk here is to do nothing.”

The Datsun car will be assembled by Nissan’s Russian partner Avtovaz at their Togliatti factory, and it will share a platform with the next generation Lada Kalina. Though the Datsun theoretically will be priced about the same as Avtovaz’s own Lada, Saigot insists that the two brands are targeted at different groups of consumers. Datsun will be aiming at first time car buyers.

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4 Comments on “Nissan Will Aim Datsun Brand at Russian Used Car Buyers...”

  • avatar

    I hope they have a sedan version planned, as that is the body style of choice over there (that or a wagon). People like being able to carry stuff while having all seats occupied.

    Also, I think at that price point it will face stiff competition from the Logan derived Lada Largus, and the significantly cheaper Lada Granta. The new Daewoo Gentra (rebadged Chevy Lacetti aka Suzuki Forenza) is also a strong entry in that it is a C-class sized car for B-class money.

    In fact, Za Rulem just recently had an article discussing the best value for $400k Rubles and under (in Cyrillic but you can see prices and photos):


    • 0 avatar

      I don’t think the Lada Kalina II even has a sedan version. I can’t figure out why seeing as i thought the sedan was popular and Russians are sedan people.

      I don’t know how Nissan will manage to sell this. Like you said there are lots of good choices. Plus the cars platform mate will shadow this.

      I imagine most of the sales will be outside Russia.

      But, then again most young Russians would rather not own a lada even if it was the same car with a different badge.

  • avatar

    What is going to be the quality of AvtoVAZ assembly, I wonder? At least Logan is built in Kaluga.

  • avatar

    I think the Datsun brand actually lasted until 1984; didn’t the first year of the Z31 300ZX include a “Nissan by Datsun” badge?

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