At a press conference at Nissan’s Yokohama plant on Monday, the Japanese carmaker announced that the re-born Datsun brand is set to return to South Africa, with the first passenger car to be launched onto the market at the end of 2014.
The announcement follows a global decision in 2010 to re-introduce the Datsun brand as part of the Japanese company’s “Nissan Power 88” mid-term plan, which calls for an 8 percent global market share and 8 percent operating profit by fiscal year 2016.
Currently, Datsun sales are planned for four major markets, including South Africa, India, Indonesia and Russia, during the course of 2014.
“Following Infiniti’s launch last year, we are delighted that South Africa is also a destination of choice for Datsun vehicles,” commented Mike Whitfield, managing director of Nissan South Africa (NSA).
“Datsun enjoyed a proud heritage in the 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 number one brand between 1976 and 1978.”
In addition to the announcement, we also found a teaser rendering showing the front end of Datsun’s first production model that will be a compact passenger car. We’re not sure if this image has gone public before, but this is the first time we’ve seen it.
In December, it was revealed that the Datsun’s new low-cost family cars will share their underpinnings with Russia’s Lada, which in mid-2014, will pass into the ownership of the Renault-Nissan Alliance.