Remember the Datsun name, which once adorned all Nissan vehicles sold in the U.S.? A new report from Reuters suggests that Nissan may consider reviving the Datsun nameplate for cheap cars sold in emerging markets like India.
Nissan is working hard to expand its reach in new parts of the world by launching inexpensive cars, and Reuters reports that the first Datsun-branded vehicle might launch in 2014. The first examples could cost the equivalent of $6200 and be sold in India, Indonesia, and Russia; Nissan would reportedly try to sell 300,000 Datsun vehicles annually. Selling cheap cars under the Datsun name would prevent tarnishing the reputation of costlier Nissan vehicles.
Nissan built its first Datsun-branded car in April 1935. The first model sold in the U.S. was the 1958 Datsun 1200 sedan, followed in 1959 by a Datsun pickup that arrived in the U.S. with a 37-hp 1.0-liter engine. Nissan started selling all its cars under the Nissan brand globally in 1983, effectively killing off the Datsun brand. However, the company did briefly sell a version of the Frontier pickup as a Datsun in Japan in 2001 and 2002.
Nissan already has partnerships with Ashok Leyland Ltd in India and AvtoVAZ in Russia, and recently announced plans to build new plants in Mexico and Brazil.
Sources: Reuters, Nissan