Datsun-branded vehicles are coming back, but not yet in America.
Yesterday the new-old company unveiled the first new Datsun car for the 21st century.
The all-new small car to be sold by the Nissan-Renault alliance under the Datsun brand will be known as the GO and will be on sale in India early 2014.
The Datsun GO is said to be the realization of the commitment made by Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. on March 2012 to return the Datsun brand to the marketplace.
Datsun is now the third brand for the Nissan Motor Company along with the company’s Nissan and Infiniti brands. Nissan said Datsun will play an important role in the Nissan Power 88 mid-term business plan.
“This is an historic day for Nissan Motor Company and for our customers and partners in some of the world’s fastest-growing markets. It’s also an exciting moment for many women and men here in India who – today – come one step closer to realizing the dream of purchasing a car,” said Carlos Ghosn, Nissan Motor President and CEO, when unveiling the car.
The five-door, front-wheel drive hatchback will come with a 1.2-liter engine paired to a five-speed manual transmission. Nissan declared that this combination offers optimal response time and agility in congested traffic.
For those customers never wanting to part with their favorite music and pictures, the Datsun GO will offer a Mobile Docking Station to connect with their smartphones.
The Datsun GO is expected to be “a category up” in its price range, priced below INR 400,000.
The name of the new car is inspired by the first Datsun, the DAT-GO, launched almost a century ago in Japan. Back then the cars brought mobility to people who had never dreamed of car ownership before. The reignited Datsun brand and the Datsun GO will bring a similar combination of aspiration and trustworthiness.
According to Nissan, the Datsun GO is high quality, stylish and modern, delivering an engaging driving experience. The overall Datsun customer offer will include a worry-free ownership experience, competitive total cost, accessible services, with transparent pricing, and dealership proximity.
“When a customer buys his first new car in countries like India, Indonesia, Russia and South Africa, first he dreams about it. To realize the dream, customers need to have access, feel a sense of belonging towards the Brand. Also, as this purchase will represent a significant part of their disposal income, it is important for them to have full trust in the brand and the product. So Dream, Access and Trust are key values for which the Datsun brand stands now,” said Vincent Cobee, who leads Datsun.
Nissan said Datsun models will be individually developed for different markets, but the concept will follow a common inspiration. The Datsun GO will be the first of several Datsun models that will be launched later in 2014 in Indonesia, Russia and South Africa.
While Nissan Motor’s Global design center in Japan was responsible for the Datsun GO styling, R&D and engineering development for the project were placed in the hands of local engineering resources and suppliers to ensure the product would suit local market conditions, preferences, tastes and needs, and would be accessible in terms of price and supply.
The Datsun GO will be produced at one of the newest Renault-Nissan Alliance factories at Oragadam, in Chennai.
Datsun vehicles originated in Japan as DAT-GO (the DAT-car) almost a century ago in 1914. The word DAT means ‘lightning-fast’ in Japanese but is also a reference to the first letters of family names of the three financiers who supported the business at the time: Den, Aoyama and Takeuchi. Using the same logic, it was promoted as Durable, Attractive and Trustworthy, or DAT for short.
In 1933, Nissan’s founding father Yoshisuke Aikawa took over the business with a vision of “mobility for all”. The introduction of a light-weight, economical yet resilient car to meet the aspirations of young Japanese people in the early 1930s was named the ‘son of DAT’ – Datson – which later changed to Datsun. Local engineering and mass-production made the founder’s dream a reality.
Nissan replaced the Datsun brand on its vehicles to the Nissan brand in the early eighties.