The Datsun brand has unveiled its second model -- the mi-Do hatchback -- at the Moscow auto show. According to Nissan, the Datsun mi-Do is slightly shorter (3,950mm) than the on-Do sedan (4,337mm) to emphasize its driving dynamics. AvtoVAZ, a Russian carmaker controlled by Renault-Nissan, is building both models, sharing a production line with the Lada Kalina.
Both the mi-Do and the on-Do are based on the Kalina. The brand is now producing the on-Do sedan in time for its roll out in September and will commence production of the mi-Do in early 2015.
The mi-Do, which shares the same wheelbase and front-wheel drive chassis layout as the on-Do, boasts of safety features like driver and front-seat passenger airbags and ABS. It also features heated seats and door mirrors as standard options. The mi-Do will be powered by an 87-hp1.6-liter gasoline-powered engine paired to an either a four- or five-speed transmission.
Nissan currently has 25 dedicated Datsun dealerships in Russia and is planning to add 75 outlets more in the next two years. The Japanese carmaker has disclosed that it is hoping that it’s the Datsun brand will help it get market share in Russia and in other developing markets by offering more competitively priced models.
The budget brand is also targeted towards second-hand cars in Russia – with the mi-Do and on-Do made for "up-and-coming" local families who wants to purchase foreign cars but are not wealthy enough to buy up-market ones.
Datsun global boss Vincent Cobee said the brand offers Russian customers an affordable car from a foreign carmaker. He said in a statement that Datsun’s impact on the Russian market will be felt in years to come. Nissan wants Datsun to generate at least a third of its total deliveries in several emerging countries like India and Indonesia.