The first Datsun small car is likely to be unveiled on July 15. CarToq has received a mailer from Datsun for an event on that day – the Datsun world premiere – as this brand is reborn in India. It’s a brand that went out of the country in the 1970s.
The Datsun brand, under the Renault-Nissan alliance, will come back into the country with five cars. The first of these is likely to be an entry level hatchback that would be showcased on July 15, at Kingdom of Dreams, Gurgaon. Also read: Nissan to revive Datsun brand in India.
The first hatchback that the company is developing has been codenamed the i2, and is apparently based on the previous generation Nissan Micra. In the hierarchy of things, Datsun will be the budget offering, while Nissan would be slightly more premium and Renault positioned above that, to straddle different price points and segments of the market.
The actual launch of the hatchback would take at least another six months and this would be followed by another premium hatchback (codenamed the k2), a compact sedan, a compact SUV and possible another hatchback. Also read: Datsun to enter India with 5 cars
In the next few months expect Datsun to start an aggressive brand building splash – as it’s not really an unfamiliar brand in India, but one that needs resurrection. In the 1980s, imported Datsun Sunny sedans (the predecessor of the present Nissan Sunny) were quite popular in India too.
Sister company Nissan has a busy year ahead, with the upcoming launch of the facelifted Nissan Micra and an automatic variant of the same, as well as the Nissan compact SUV (apparently likely to be called the Nissan Terrano) based on the Renault Duster. Also read: New car brands and what’s happening to them
The Renault Nissan alliance is still looking at adding up domestic volumes, as at the moment it has far greater exports of its cars from its 400,000 car capacity plant in Chennai. Domestic sales have not been encouraging for either Renault or Nissan, except for a single product each – the Renault Duster for Renault and the Nissan Sunny to an extent for Nissan. Will the Datsun range be its magic wand?