Nissan Motor plans to tap fast-growth countries and revive the Datsun nameplate by selling cheap cars made for emerging markets from 2014.
Carlos Ghosn, Nissan’s chief executive, spoke about Datsun’s potential and the fact that most part of Nissan’s cars and trucks were sold outside Japan since 1934. Although the company quit using the Datsun brand in 1981, it remained an important name in the U.S., the Middle East and Asia.
The company wants to sell Datsun vehicles priced at around 500,000 yen ($6,200), in India, Russia and Indonesia, adjusting them to local needs, hoping to sell about 300,000 in about a year.
Nissan has other partnerships with Ashok Leyland Ltd. in India and a recently announced factory in Brazil, where it aims to triple its market share by 2016. The company plans with Renault to make a deal to increase the alliance’s stake in Russia’s AvtoVAZ, the maker of Lada cars, to aid growth there.
By using the Datsun brand, Nissan would overpass its domestic rivals, Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co. fears, that selling ultra-cheap vehicles would be difficult given the potential damage to their mass-market brands, respected for their reliability and quality.