Japan's Nikkei news service is reporting that Nissan is dusting the cobwebs off its Datsun brand, dropped back in 1986, and preparing it for a return in 2014. Loyalists will be disappointed to learn that the "new" Datsun badge won't be riveted to the nose of any upcoming Fairlady Z in the near future – it probably isn't even coming to North America. Instead, the report indicates that Nissan will use Datsun as a backup brand for low-priced vehicles manufactured and sold in emerging Asian markets. According to the Nikkei, Datsun-branded vehicles will be priced about 500,000 yen ($6,200 USD) with annual sales goals of about 300,000 units.
Rumors about Datsun's return have been circulating for years. But only now, with Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn pushing to expand the brand into new markets (e.g., Russia, India, Brazil and China), does it really start to make sense as way to protect the upmarket corporate Nissan identity from being associated with low-cost entry-level vehicles.

The return of Datsun is interesting, but a two-tier strategy is hardly new. For example, Volkswagen uses its entry-level SEAT and Skoda brands to capture the low-cost market (though the two have moved upscale), while General Motors (working with SAIC) recently launched Baojun to target first-time buyers in China. According to TheDetroitBureau.com, the Nikkei also notes that Nissan officials have not commented on the report.


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  • 33 Comments
      pickupmiami
      • 2 Years Ago
      Datsun would be very well received by the buying pubic. The reputation of Datsun was in good standing when they made the move to Nissan.
        Brian
        • 2 Years Ago
        @pickupmiami
        I have very fond memories of Datsun myself, too. That is pretty much all that my parents owned when I was a young child were Datsuns. There was a 1972 pickup, a 197? 510 wagon (I believe), a 1979 B210 Hatchback, a 1979 King Cab and probably a few more that I am forgetting. I remember going out with my mom and dad when I was about 2 or 3 as they delivered papers in a white 1972 Datsun Pickup- my dad used to let me shift gears for him. When I was 9, my stepfather took me up to my old school with his black 1979 Datsun King Cab and taught me how to drive- I was so proud to not only drive at 9 but master a manual transmission back then. I have loved vehicles with manual transmissions since. I hope to buy a nice Datsun pickup or one of the cool 70's era cars (280Z, B210 hatchback, 510...) as a toy for the weekends.
      barkeep
      • 2 Years Ago
      Perhaps my uncle's old Datsun Hardbody will have a vengeance after all! :D Too bad it's not coming to North America. Then I could have "rebadged" my Altima as a Datsun, just to piss people off! >:)
      Fonin
      • 2 Years Ago
      must have tiny pickup!
      tipdrip215
      • 2 Years Ago
      I think they could bring it back as a youth oriented brand. Datsun could be to Nissan what Scion is to Toyota.
      Hazdaz
      • 2 Years Ago
      too bad it probably won't make it to the USDM, but I could definitely see there being room for a resurrected Datsun brand that would be modelled after Scion. Basically a low cost, but fun brand aimed at the youth and sold within Nissan dealerships.
      Fazzster
      • 2 Years Ago
      How about a rear wheel drive, 1.6L, 130hp coupe, 2000lbs for $14,000 USD....
      CarCrazy24
      • 2 Years Ago
      They should definitely bring it back to the U.S and make a small car and sporty car division....I would love a REAL successor to my 71' 240Z =)
      regionrat
      • 2 Years Ago
      Aw, c'mon, bring it to the U.S.! They should have done this with the new Versa since it's by far the cheapest car in America.....and it's, ya know, kind of dragging Nissan down as a whole.
      Dwight Bynum Jr.
      • 2 Years Ago
      You "enthusiasts" (and the rest of the planet for that matter) care far too much about branding. The way you all talk about the BRZ / GT 86 / FR-S are a real testament to that. You'd scoop it up in a heartbeat with a "T" on it's nose, but with an "S" oh no, stop the presses. You wouldn't be caught dead in a Scion. If a product is good, what's it matter what badge is slapped on the front of it?! If a Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 was sold as something like... a GMC Caballero (+5 points if you remember those), would it be any less of a car? Nope! But I guarantee it would lose a few followers / loyalists... which makes absolutely NO sense. Not to mention I'm a fan of debadging anything I own anyway... haha!
      flammablewater
      • 2 Years Ago
      Bring back the 510!
      SpikedLemon
      • 2 Years Ago
      Nissan's version of Dacia? Don't we already have the Versa?
      Bonouf
      • 2 Years Ago
      Ghoson will cheapen the Datsun name. The Datsun had some the most loved Japanese cars back in the day, and won many races.... and now Mr. Corporate Ghoson wants to make cheap cars using that name
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