Datsun's back - and going budget

2013-02-22 12:59

PRETORIA - Datsun is coming back to South Africa with a new budget car to be launched before the end of 2014.

The brand was discontinued globally in 1981 in favour of Nissan – and that’s how it’s been since but now the Chinese sales onslaught into Africa is becoming overwhelming and this is how Nissan plans to fight back.

The news follows a global decision in 2010 to re-introduce the Datsun brand as part of the company’s ambitious Nissan Power 88 mid-term plan to achieve eight percent of the global market and eight percent operating profit by fiscal year 2016.


Vincent Cobee, corporate vice-president at Nissan, told Wheels24: “The return of Datsun is integral to our expansion in fast-growing markets where there is a mushrooming upwardly-mobile segment. Datsun’s key values – accessible, reliable and modern - are designed to accommodate the needs and aspirations of this target group, just as it did for similarly optimistic customers in Japan, America and a large part of the world during most of the 20th century.”

Datsun will be re-established with a strong independent brand identity alongside Nissan and Infiniti.

Mike Whitfield, MD of Nissan SA, said: “Following Infiniti’s launch in 2012 we are delighted that SA will also be a destination of choice for the Datsun brand which enjoyed a proud heritage in this country after the Bluebird made its debut at the Pretoria Show in 1958.

“The 120Y and SSS models were household names before going on to become the No.1 brand from 1976 and 1978.”

While NSA plans to initiate Datsun sales with one car model, it's anticipated that a broader range of vehicles will become available. It's not known whether the initial model will be a sedan or hatchback.

The brand will also be introduced in India, Indonesia and Russia.


The Datsun brand was created in 1931 by the DAT Motorcar for a new car model, spelling it as Datson to indicate its smaller size compared to the existing larger DAT.

In 1934, Nissan acquired DAT and the last syllable of Datson was changed to "sun", because "son" also means "loss" in Japanese. The name also a refers to the Japanese rising sun national flag hence the name "Datsun".

Nissan phased out the Datsun brand in March 1986 not before the brand created the 510, Fairlady roadsters and 240Z coupes.

We reported in 2012 that the automaker would revive the brand and now we can confirm Datsun models will be sold (again) in South Africa.

  • bafana.ndlovu.9026 - 2013-02-22 13:15

    Nissan sounds much better than datsun, silly name change - they will lose customers

      artur.winiecki.1 - 2013-02-22 13:21

      The Troll continues

      frank.swanepoel.3 - 2013-02-22 13:28

      It's not a name change. It will be a separate brand just like the Infinity. If it's a well build vehicle I actually think that they will gain customers.

      NuttyZA - 2013-02-22 13:29

      bafana, they are not changing their name back to datsun, they are just releasing budget motor vehicles under the datsun brand

      robbdalton - 2013-02-22 13:31

      Did you even read the article? Datsun is a seperate brand, Nissan is it's own entity. You are an idiot.

      bafana.ndlovu.9026 - 2013-02-22 13:33

      I dunno, the name Dastun Micra/skyline doesnt fit right. People will now need to get their vehicle registration papers updated

      erik.p.vanwyk - 2013-02-22 13:47

      Banana you are truly too stupid to insult!

      amber.rancic - 2013-02-22 13:47

      It's not a bloody name change!

      sah.njiyela - 2013-02-22 14:01

      Gee Wiz, Bafana. Next time you comment, please for the love of God do not do it whilst under influence.

      bafana.ndlovu.9026 - 2013-02-22 14:02

      I wonder if this has to do with the recalling of faulty vehicles. Nissan would no longer exist in the lawsuit as they are dastun

      TshilidziPhuravhathu - 2013-02-22 14:20

      Oh my Freacking word this Bafana guy has a brick fro a brain!!!

      Jerome Mtshali - 2013-02-22 14:22


      juvan.olivier - 2013-02-22 14:23

      Bafana, please get some education before commenting on these sites.

      bafana.ndlovu.9026 - 2013-02-22 14:36

      Nissan is/was the biggest motor fatcuring brand in the world, all their market share will be lost. Datsun will start at zero

      sihle.mabaso.7 - 2013-02-22 14:47

      whats wrong with you Bafana haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

      bafana.ndlovu.9026 - 2013-02-22 15:03

      Actually quite a gamble to risk market share/customers to avoid lawsuits. It may be a clever move in the long run

      Makaveli - 2013-02-22 15:06

      Bafana, they way u r so thick, I am surprised that u have an office job where u have access to the net, or a SMARTphone for that matter. U r very thick bro.

      herman.olivier.lc - 2013-02-22 17:00

      I swear every time you open your mouth you Iq drops By 2 points.

      bafana.ndlovu.9026 - 2013-02-22 17:08

      Lets hope under the new Datsun guise these Chinese manufacturers get their safety levels up

      joe.porchy - 2013-02-22 19:23


      wayne.hardaker.3 - 2013-02-23 10:47

      He Must be trolling, there is no way someone can be this dumb?

      george.frangs - 2013-02-25 07:23

      Stop feeding the troll guys. You're making him fat.

  • Clive.D.Buckley - 2013-02-22 13:19

    My Father used to work for Datsun SA back in the 70's and 80's (he redesigned the front of the Nissan Bakkie)... he used to have a 120y and 160y as a company car :)

      Ferdinand Fungai Nyamakupe - 2013-02-25 22:02

      I used to drive a 1974 Datsun 120Y Sedan Japanese Spec Flat grilled boy what a marvelous ride. I kitted it out with 63mm Bosal Brospeed freeflow exhaust system, Weber carbs, Electronic ignition, 13” alminium wheels and a 5 speed box. There is no other car that I will ever love like that one again. 6 years after I sold it people still ask me 'Dude where the hell is you “Datpower?” I doubt they will ever make them like those one. Once they come in front wheel drive its a given flop. A real Datsun has a 'diff' meaning rear wheel drive. If I can get a good example today I won't hesitate to buy it. I want a station wagon if there are still out there. Those engines are rock solid. Just fit electronic ignition, performance carb and 5 speed box, you will never sleep on the road again. Viva Datsun Viva. They are still doing duty in Beitbidge they call it Kamudati in Zim.

  • shauncro - 2013-02-22 13:20

    "While NSA plans to initiate Datsun sales with one car model - not know where a sedan or hatchback - vehicle it is anticipated that a broader range of vehicles will become available." Eish! Terrible grammar!

  • wreford.white.9 - 2013-02-22 13:38

    @ nutty. Hmm, the only local "redesigns" to the bakkies that I can think of would be front bumper and grille changes. Maybe the twin headlight 720 qualifies as a redesign as it used Stanza harnesses. Probably why there was constant trouble with the headlamps for a while.

      NuttyZA - 2013-02-22 13:49

      He redesigned the headlights and front grill (they used to be round)... I still have the original airbrush painting he did somewhere (he was a graphic artist..

      NuttyZA - 2013-02-22 13:54

      This was his design http://www.car-specs.za.net/nissan-1400-champ-2002-02-specs.aspx Used to look like this beforehand http://cars.brick7.co.za/nissan/1400/322655.html

      wreford.white.9 - 2013-02-22 20:55

      OK nutty, It comes back to me now. Give the old man my regards next time you see him. If he's still around that is.

      NuttyZA - 2013-02-22 21:33

      sadly, he passed away just over 2 years ago!!!

      wreford.white.9 - 2013-02-22 23:52

      @ nutty, sorry to hear that my friend. Belated condolencies. I feel I shall not be far behind him!

  • chris.stuart.332 - 2013-02-22 15:18

    The east rand will happy..

      johan.pretorius.3572 - 2013-02-24 14:37

      Very judgemental for someone who professes tolerance. Leviticus 18:22

  • kopano.tsiki - 2013-02-22 16:40

    Bafana is killing me!! you made my day buddy

      wreford.white.9 - 2013-02-22 23:56

      Fortunately, Bafana is, or must, be under the influence of some mind altering substance. He is totally disconnected to what is going on. Maybe he is a 30% matriculant!

  • Masia Masia - 2013-02-22 18:21

    Hope it doesn't go the CAM way. What a disgrace

  • Philip - 2013-02-22 18:37

    Remember that great car the Datsun SSS?

  • Seitshiro.M - 2013-02-22 18:54

    Bafana...U made my day. Humor such as this is rare!

  • BLUESILVER2012 - 2013-02-23 00:00

    DATSUN will be a marketing flop, they have been out of the market for to long and the only generation they have a link to is now in the old age homes or dead.Who is going to buy the "Champ" in this day & age even if it's cheap and Nissan have a legacy of producing cheap cars,just not under the Nissan brand...Dacia/Renault Sandero...etc...stupid idea and smacks of desperation, rather give people a cheaper NP200 or Hardbody that you are still exporting.

      mbonyathi - 2013-02-23 15:09

      how long did it take for the mini to come back and look at it now...just a thought..

      arthur.salvado - 2013-02-24 16:38

      You obviously have a marketing degree. Just a pity you not applying it here

  • tebogo.thebe - 2013-02-23 01:16

    Or so u guys r using this page to insult this page to insult each other while commenting about Cars? Grow up!

  • Matthew Du Toit - 2013-02-23 09:43

    My friend owns Datsun Stanza Station wagon 180 SSS. Its very fast and reliable. And my mom owned Nissan 1800 one ton bakkie and I compare the engines and both same desgined but different name and I'm very sure Datsun will bring the customers with big smile when Datsun starts to sell.

  • sas.kloppers - 2013-02-23 10:35

    As long as they don't badge the Romanian rubbish called Dacia a Datsun, I'll be fine with it.

      comurray - 2013-02-25 13:08

      I really don't think Nissan would stoop that low.

  • howard.rudder - 2013-02-23 20:21

    Datsun 1400GX did 800km+ on a 40L tank on the open road

  • arthur.salvado - 2013-02-24 16:36

    Welcome back Datsun. Very fond memories. The 1600SSS was mega and its performance frightened the Alfa drivers like myself.

  • comurray - 2013-02-25 13:06

    Good news, I used to own a Datsun 2000 sedan. It was a 1997cc straight 6 cylinder can and most reliable into the bargain, kept it for 20 years then sold it and bought a second hand Chrysler Valliant.That also was one of the best cars available.

  • Ferdinand Fungai Nyamakupe - 2013-02-25 22:28

    Datsun is the forefather of Nissan. What's wrong with calling your son after your grandfather. What's in a name? The balance between the quality and the price of the product will determine its success. Let's wait and see what they are cooking. But its gonna be a hard act to follow because the reliability of the Datsuns of old is not easy to match. For starters are the cars gonna be front or rear wheel drive? The front wheel drive Pulsar was never a true Datsun. The 1200s, 120Ys, Bluebird, SSS and the Skyline and Skyline GTR were the true Datsuns. Not forgetting the Zs.Today the heritage continues with the current 370Z and the scintillating '911 eating' twin turbo V6 GTR Godzilla”.

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