In March last year, we were greeted with the news that Nissan will bring back the classic Datsun brand. Datsun, which is no strange name to Malaysians, will be relaunched as a budget brand pitched to high-growth emerging markets like India, Indonesia and Russia.
Now we know Datsun cars will be based on a Lada. “Datsuns will be built off the new Lada Kalina platform,” Nissan’s executive vice president Colin Dodge told Automotive News Europe. In May 2012, the Renault-Nissan Alliance and state corporation Russian Technologies agreed to create a JV that will see the Alliance take over AvtoVAZ, maker of Russia’s Lada cars.
The cars will use a modular platform with shared elements such as braking and fuel systems as well as steering mechanicals, Dodge said. However, Nissan’s top exec in Europe said that Datsuns would differ visually from the Russian car. “The upper body and interior will be completely different, You won’t notice it as a Lada,” he stressed.
Datsun boss Vincent Cobee revealed that the brand will launch two models in the first year, with a third arriving in 2015. The cars will be revealed by the end of 2013. How cheap will they be? The Wall Street Journal cited sources including Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn as saying the target starting price for Datsuns is 2,300 euros (RM9,275).
Datsuns sold in Russia will be made alongside Nissan’s new Russia-only Almera sedan at AvtoVAZ’s factory southeast of Moscow. Datsuns sold in India and Indonesia will be made locally, in Chennai and Cikampek, respectively.
Click here to see some old Datsuns from the good old days!