Guess who’s back? Datsun. Yes, Datsun became Nissan, but now the automaker is bringing back the Datsun name. It isn’t replacing Nissan -- just adding a third brand to Nissan and
Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn said Datsun will complement Infiniti and Nissan and will be sold as a value brand in high-density urban markets in developing countries like Indonesia. “This is something that has been prepared within our Power 88 plan and will be a pillar of offering mobility for all, making sure that people -- particularly in high growth markets -- will have an offer from our company.
“A lot of people in emerging markets today are driving motorcycles, some of them are driving used cars, others can buy a new car but, in fact, it’s antiquated with very old technology and a very old platform -- cars which have been there for 20 years or more. What we want to offer is a modern, affordable car -- something that people will be very happy to own, a product that is generous, giving them exactly what they want, and at an affordable price.”
Ghosn said there is no risk to Nissan and Infiniti because neither brand competes at that level of the market. “The risk is to do nothing because it means that in India 40% of the market escapes us, in Russia 40% of the market escapes us, and what we think will be 40% of the Indonesian market will escape us. That’s the biggest risk. The risk is to do nothing.”
He said the company has been working on products for the Datsun line. “We’re not announcing something and then saying, ‘tomorrow, we’re going to start work on the Datsun brand.” What we’re announcing today is, “we’ve been working on this.’ The cars are already in development.”
He said it made sense to stick with the Datsun name rather than inventing a new one because the Datsun name is known and “if in some market there is no recognition when starting with Datsun or another brand, then it’s the same. But at least in the markets where there is recognition, we’re starting with something.”
"Robustness, we are going to be capitalizing on it. Between launching the Datsun name and a new name, Datsun is equal or better. So we are going for something belonging to the heritage of Nissan that we would like to revive."