Nissan has announced that the Datsun name will return, more than 30 years since it disappeared from the road.
The reborn Datsun effectively becomes Nissan’s Dacia. However, there are no plans for the Datsun budget brand to sell in Europe for the first time since 1981. Instead, it is targeted at emerging car markets – with its first offering, the Datsun GO supermini, set to go on sale in India in early 2014.
The GO has been developed in India, and will be built there, too. It is powered by a 1.2-litre petrol engine, connected to a five-speed manual gearbox. It’s 3,785mm long, 1,485mm high and 1,635mm wide, with a 2,450mm wheelbase, making it very similar in size to the current Micra.
Datsun has confirmed that the GO will feature a built-in docking station for mobile phones, allowing the driver to use their smartphone’s functions on the move.
When it goes on sale, the GO will cost less than 400,000 rupees, which converts to around £4,480 at today’s exchange rate. By contrast, the facelifted Micra costs from £9,950.
“This is a 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 realising the dream of purchasing a car," said Carlos Ghosn, Nissan President and CEO.
Datsun has confirmed that its cars will be designed in Japan, but individually developed for different markets. The GO will be the first of several Datsun models that will be launched later in 2014 in Indonesia, Russia and South Africa.