Plans are reportedly progressing to bring back Datsun. Wait, what? Wasn't Datsun just the name of Nissan before it became Nissan? Why yes, yes it was. But the Japanese automaker is – as we initially reported back in July – planning on dipping back into its own history to launch a budget brand for developing markets.
The sub-brand would further increase the number of marques in CEO Carlos Ghosn's portfolio that already includes Renault, Dacia, Nissan, Infiniti, Renault-Samsung Motors and a significant stake in Russia's AvtoVAZ.
As Auto Express points out, the Renault-Nissan Alliance already has a budget brand called Dacia (pictured above) that's managed by the French side of the equation and based in Romania. (You may recognize the name from the brand's off-road racing exploits in the Andros Trophy or Pikes Peak, or from James May's obsession with the brand's sensible vehicles on Top Gear.) Nissan's revived Datsun nameplate may, then, amount to little more than rebadged versions of Dacias for markets like Russia and China.
Whatever they sell and wherever they sell them, one thing's all but certain: Datsun won't be coming back to the United States any time soon. Oh well, we'll just have to stick with Nissan and vehicles like the 370Z and GT-R.