3/20/2012 | 1 MINUTE READ

Nissan Makes It Official: Datsun is Back

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CEO Carlos Ghosn confirms that Nissan Motor Co. will relaunch its Datsun brand in 2014 as a line of low-cost vehicles in India, Indonesia and Russia.

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CEO Carlos Ghosn confirms that Nissan Motor Co. will relaunch its Datsun brand in 2014 as a line of low-cost vehicles in India, Indonesia and Russia.

Nissan began selling Datsun cars in Japan 80 years ago but phased out the brand in the early 1980s.

Now it says Datsun will be reintroduced as Nissan's entry-level brand with models that cost $5,000-$6,000. The company's mid-market and luxury models will continue to be sold globally under the Nissan and Infiniti brands, respectively.

The Nikkei, which reported the planned Datsun relaunch earlier this month, says Nissan hopes to reach sales of about 300,000 Datsuns per year. It speculates that models for India and Indonesia will use Nissan's low-cost V-platform and be powered by engines displacing about 1 liter. The newspaper says models sold in Russia will be built locally and ride on platforms from OAO AvtoVAZ the carmaker Nissan and Renault expect to acquire later of this year.

Nissan says Datsun models will share platforms and major components with some of the company's existing vehicles. It emphasizes that the new line will not include rebadged versions of Dacia cars sold by affiliate Renault SA in Europe or Venucia vehicles sold by Nissan and partner Dongfeng Motor in China.

Ghosn says reviving Datsun will help Nissan meet its goal of boosting its global market share to 8% by the fiscal year ending March 2017 from 5.8% in the last fiscal year.