The new low-cost Datsun cars will be based on the new Lada Kalina platform, according to Nissan executive vice president Colin Dodge. When interviewed by Automotive News Europe, Dodge said that the cars will use a modular platform with shared elements such as braking and fuel systems as well as steering mechanicals.
Dodge, who is Nissan's top executive for Europe, emphasized that Datsuns would be visually different from the Russian subcompact. Dodge said that upper body and interior will be very different and it can’t be recognized as a Lada. Starting January 1, Dodge will transfer responsibility for Africa, Middle East, India and the European region to Trevor Mann. Nissan will start to offer the revived Datsun brand in Russia, India and Indonesia beginning in 2014.
Nissan is relying on Datsun to lead its expansion into emerging markets. When interviewed by Automotive News Europe, Datsun head Vincent Cobee said that the brand will launch two models in the first year while the third is set to arrive in 2015. It’s believed that the cars will be presented in the later part of 2013. Cobee didn’t disclose the car’s body styles but he said that the Datsuns will probably follow what Lada has done with the Kalina, which is available as a hatchback and sedan.
In early December, sources told the Wall Street Journal that the Datsun models have a target starting price of $3,000 (2,300 euros), which makes them competitive against low-cost Chinese cars. Datsuns built for the Russian market will be produced together with the Ladas and Nissan's new Russia-only Almera sedan at AvtoVAZ's plant in Togliatti, which is located around 800km (500 miles) southeast of Moscow.