Since the last news splash about Nissan re-launching the Datsun brand, myself and many others have been on close watch, anticipating it’s return – and it looks like that day has come! After 30+ years, Nissan brings back the Datsun brand to the emerging markets of India, Indonesia and Russia with the Datsun Go.
The Datsun Go is a 5-seat hatchback aimed at first-time car buyers, looking to post for sale next year for about $6730 USD (400,000 Rupees). With a price tag like that, even in these markets, one can get into a Go and.. go (ahem). It’s certainly without a doubt that Nissan hopes to bring back the Datsun name with similar success it saw nearly 50 years ago when introduced to the US market.
The side view shows design cues of the Nissan Leaf…
Will we ever see Datsun back in the states? In the short term, probably not. Remember, Nissan’s original purpose for Datsun in the US market nearly 50 years ago was to get into the US market – test the waters so to speak. Of course Datsun became an instant success, and by the early 80’s, they change Datsun back over to the Nissan name. And as they say, the rest is history.
However, imagine Nissan make a strategy like Toyota… If Datsun where to be imaged as the young, starter vehicle for the young generation – it’d fall square in competition with Toyota’s Scion brand (and that took off well with both young and aged demographics). A strong argument can easily be made for a US re-launch as those familiar with the Datsun name are now grown up and have teenage kids who are ready to drive. As for price overlap concerns, the now mid-class Nissan shouldn’t have to worry as Toyota has already proven that cars like the Corolla and Yaris can sell well alongside Scion’s xD and iQ. Actually, the passenger car price overlap between Toyota and Scion is over 50% ($14k-$30k, $16k-$25k respectively).
If I had my way, Datsun re-entrance into the world market is just a stepping stone of things to come. As Nissan secures Datsun’s foot hold in the world, they’ll have time to re-position Nissan / Infiniti, introduce it to the European / Chinese markets, and eventually bring back Datsun into the states. Come on Nissan, let’s make it happen.
Read more on Datsun’s return and the Datsun Go at Datsun.com