Yes, it’s no longer just a rumour. Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn announced in an official statement that the iconic Datsun brand name would be making a comeback. But it won’t be appearing in showrooms across the world. For now it’s been reserved for very specific emerging markets including India, Indonesia and Russia.
The Datsun name went into retirement in 1981, when the automaker re-established itself as Nissan in the States. Now it’s being revived to form the third brand in the Nissan family, along with its luxury sibling, Infiniti. But where exactly does it fit into the market? Datsun will offer buyers inexpensive and fuel-efficient vehicle options, i.e. budget cars.
Datsun vehicle sales in India, Indonesia and Russia are expected to start as soon as 2014. And Nissan won’t only bring new vehicles to Indonesia, it will also bring new job opportunities. In 2011 Nissan sold 60 000 units in this growing market and it expects the number to increase to 250 000 by 2014 while the workforce will expand to 3300. Will Datsun return to South Africa? It doesn’t seem likely at this stage.