Datsun, a Nissan Motor Co. brand designing vehicles for high-growth markets, today announced that it is set to return to South Africa. The first model to be introduced in South Africa will be a new passenger vehicle that will be launched by the end of 2014.
This follows a global decision in 2010 to re-introduce the Datsun brand as part of the company's ambitious Nissan Power 88 mid-term plan to achieve 8 percent of the global market share and 8 percent operating profit by fiscal year 2016.
“The return of Datsun is integral to our expansion in fast-growing markets where there is a mushrooming upwardly-mobile segment," said Vincent Cobee, corporate vice president at Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., and head of the Datsun brand. “Datsun's key values – accessible, reliable and modern - are designed to accommodate the needs and aspirations of this target group, just as it did for similarly optimistic customers in Japan, America and a large part of the world during most of the 20th century."
Datsun was phased out in 1981 when it was integrated with Nissan branding as the company expanded globally. Datsun is to be re-established with a strong independent brand identity, alongside the Nissan and Infiniti brands.
“Following Infiniti's launch last year, we are delighted that South Africa is also a destination of choice for Datsun vehicles," said Mike Whitfield, managing director of Nissan South Africa (NSA). “Datsun enjoyed a proud heritage in the country after the Bluebird made its debut at the Pretoria Show in 1958, the 120Y and SSS models were household names, before going on to become the number one brand between 1976 and 1978."
Datsun will launch in South Africa with one passenger vehicle model; it is anticipated that a broader range of Datsun vehicles will be available in the future.
“Our aim is to deliver new and exciting products that meet local customer needs assured by global Japanese OEM (original equipment manufacturer) expertise and technology," said Cobee.
The distinctive Datsun logo, he said, embodies the brand's styling identity.
“The inner portion of the logo preserves the essence of the original Datsun logo with a blue bar striking through the rising sun. This reflects the founding spirit of ‘sincerity leads to success'," explained Cobee. “The rising sun represents the energy of rising towards a better tomorrow and the striking blue bar represents pure integrity built into providing innovative solutions. The outer shape represents the edge and modernity of the new Datsun brand. The blue brand color is embedded in our heritage which is rooted in sincerity and trustworthiness."
The brand is also to be introduced in India, Indonesia and Russia in 2014.
Watch this media interview with Nissan executives on Datsun’s launch
Source: Engineering News