Less than 10 years after Datsun was resurrected as an affordable marque for the emerging markets, Nissan shut down its operations and closed the last plant assembling its cars. Back in 2013, Datsun was re-launched in markets such as Russia, Indonesia, India, South Africa, Nepal, and others but it is no longer assembling cars for any of these countries. It turns out this doesn’t necessarily mean Datsun is dead though, as a new report shines more light on what the future might hold for the budget brand.
Automotive News quotes an unnamed source close to Nissan who said Datsun is dead in all but its name but the company is currently debating what to do with the famous name. Nothing can be confirmed at this point – Nissan is probably still in the early stages of discussions – but one option seems to be keeping Datsun on tap for use as a budget electric brand in the near future.
"For many thousands of owners worldwide, Datsun continues to provide an engaging driving experience, peace of mind ownership at the right price, and great value," a statement by Nissan reads, hinting there might be a future for Datsun after all. "As part of Nissan's global transformation strategy, Nissan is focusing on core models and segments that bring the most benefit to customers, dealer partners, and the business."
It’s probably important to note that Datsun still sells cars in some regions but it no longer produces cars. This means the dealers will have only the already assembled units to offer customers with sales likely to end relatively soon. In a recent statement, Nissan promised it will continue to provide maintenance, after-sales services, and warranty support through its dealership network.
The Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance already has one of the world's cheapest electric vehicles in its portfolio. The Dacia Spring launched in France last year with a starting price of €16,990, or €12,403 with the local government eco-bonus factored in. It would make sense for Nissan to launch a Datsun-branded version of this car when its replacement hits the market in 2024.