Nissan may produce low-cost Datsun-brand vehicles in Mexico to supply new markets in Latin America, according to chief executive Carlos Ghosn. Nissan is likewise mulling Datsun production in Russia via its Russian partner AvtoVAZ. "We're launching Datsun in India and Indonesia, and we feel it's going to be very successful.
So we say, why not in South America?" Ghosn said in a meeting with reporters last month. Nissan plans to sell low-cost vehicles under the Datsun brand in diverse markets, from Russia to Indonesia to Africa.
However, producing them would be a distinct issue since Datsun is not established enough anywhere to warrant investment in centralized production. This may mean Nissan will have to build Datsun vehicles on existing plants, like the new site it launched in November in Aguascalientes, Mexico.
Nissan will market Datsuns solely to low-cost countries, where traditional vehicle ownership has been out of reach for average consumers. Nissan will start selling the first model, the 1.2-liter engine Datsun Go in India in February 2014 at a price of $6,500.
The Go built at a multi-model Nissan site in Chennai, India. AvtoVAZ, which builds the Lada vehicle brand for Russia and other markets, has enough capacity that could support the Datsun brand in some markets, according to Vincent Cobee, global Datsun head.