Datsun is Back! Nissan has announced that they will be reviving the defunct car brand with the new Datsun GO which will go on sale in India in early 2014.
The Datsun Go will be a 5-door, front-wheel drive hatchback equipped with a 1.2-liter engine paired with a 5-speed manual transmission. The compact car will be spacious inside thanks to a wide stance and large wheelbase. In addition the Datsun Go will feature a Mobile Docking Station so passengers can connect their smartphones.
The name of the new car is inspired by the first Datsun car, the DAT-GO, launched about 100 years ago in Japan. Back then Datsun brought mobility to people who had never dreamed of owning a car before. The Datsun GO should be ideal for Indian families needing basic transportation at a reasonable cost.
“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 he showed off the Datsun GO.
Nissan initially announced plans to revive the Datsun brand back in March 2012. It seemed that Nissan needed another car brand along with it’s luxury Infiniti line to compete in emerging markets like India. While this made sense you never know when automakers will change their mind and this news official confirms that Nissan is bringing back the Datsun brand with the Datsun GO.
Datsun started back in Japan as DAT-GO (the DAT-car) 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, the company promoted that to mean Durable, Attractive and Trustworthy, or DAT for short.
In 1933, Nissan’s founder, Yoshisuke Aikawa took over with ideal to bring “mobility for all”. The introduction of a light-weight, inexpensive, and reliable 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 Aikawa’s dream a reality. It seems that Aikawa’s dream will be realized again in 2014 but in a different country.
Datsun models most likely will share components and platforms but will be individually tailored for different markets. The Datsun GO will be the first of several Datsun models that will be launched later in 2014 in Indonesia, Russia and South Africa.
“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.” said Vincent Cobee, who will lead the Datsun division of Nissan.
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 entrusted to 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 project development was of course backed by the full assurance of the Nissan’s expertise and quality. The Datsun GO will be built at one of the newest Renault-Nissan Alliance factories at Oragadam, in Chennai.
The Datsun GO is expected to be priced below 400,000 Indian Rubles which is equal to 6670 US dollars. This means the Datsun GO will compete directly with Suzuki and Tata in India.
It will be interesting to see how the reintroduction of the Datsun brand will work for Nissan’s overall global strategy. If you have any thoughts about this Datsun GO please leave a comment below.