Yes, you read that right – after a near thirty-year hiatus from the car industry, former Japanese automotive giant Datsun has officially begun its re-entry into the world market. Executives leaked the above sketches of a “new generation” Datsun this past Tuesday, confirming that the brand and the sketches will become a reality in New Delhi, India, on July 15.
Datsun was a well-received brand in the United States until 1981, when Nissan corporation acquired a majority in the company and began producing vehicles exclusively under the Nissan name. The Datsun 510 Bluebird of the late 1960’s established the Datsun brand as practical and reliable, but the Datsun’s true fame came with the introduction of the 240Z in the early 1970’s. A well-designed, responsive, and cheap alternative to the many European sports cars flooding the American market, the 240Z catapulted the Datsun brand quickly to household-name status.
Nissan executives have announced that this newest model will hit dealerships somewhere around the Spring of 2014, with the first models aimed at the Indian, Indonesian, Russian, and South African markets. Supposedly based on the current Nissan Micra, this model would mark the first time a Datsun has been aimed squarely at the Indian car market. Though pricing hasn’t officially been announced for the newest Datsun, reports claim that it will cost no more than 100,000 South African Rand, or about $10,000.
Vincent Cobee, the current VP of Nissan Motor Corporation in Japan and the future head of Datsun Motor Company, has high aspirations for the brand. In a press statement, he remarked that, “Datsun will bring competitive products and services, modern and aspirational, while at the same time reassuring, providing superior value and specifically developed for the emerging and ambitious new middle class in high-growth markets.” He plans to have the Datsun brand account for between one-third and one-half of all Nissan sales in India, Russia, and Indonesia by 2017.
The Datsun website will be available to the public for pricing and specifications on July 15.
Please enjoy this TFLcar.com video of the modern version of Datsun’s 240Z, the Nissan GT-R.