Nissan Motor Co. has unveiled the first model of the revived Datsun brand, the five-door Go hatchback, which will be rolled out in India in early 2014. Nissan will then roll out the Datsun Go in Russia, South Africa and Indonesia within two years. Nissan chief executive Carlos Ghosn, who led the unveiling of the Go in New Delhi, said the vehicle will have a tag price of under INR400,000 ($6,700).
According to Ghosn, Datsun will "contribute significantly" to Nissan's advance in high-growth markets. The Datsun Go will be powered by a 1.2-liter engine mated with a five-speed manual gearbox.
Ghosn remarked that Nissan is aiming to grab a 10-percent share of the vehicle market in India by 2016, compared to less than 2 percent in 2012. Market leader Maruti held 45 percent of the vehicle market in India in 2012, according to data from the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers.
According to Ghosn, Nissan doesn't offer passenger vehicles in the lowest price ranges in developing economies like India, Russia and Indonesia, where such vehicles account for around 40 percent of the market. Datsun is aiming to entice first-time buyers who are shifting from motorcycles or used cars, Ghosn said in March 2012.
Ghosn’s greatest challenge will be how to conquer an initial lack of brand recognition for the Datsun in emerging markets. Nissan, however, considers reviving the Datsun name much better that starting a new brand, the carmaker’s CEO said. Nissan said that while the Datsun Go has compact body dimensions of 1635mm x 1485mm x 3785mm, it boasts of a roomy cabin thanks to a wide stance and 2450mm wheelbase.