People who grew up during the ’70s and ’80s still remember Datsun, an automotive brand that slowly ceased to exist. The owner, Nissan decided to relaunch this brand and to use it to sell budget cars for developing markets. Nissan follows the example of Renault, a manufacturer that purchased the Romanian brand Dacia, and makes simple, cheap, yet very successful cars under the Dacia brand.
The first Datsun, a small hatchback named Go was introduced in July, and now a larger, 7-seater version, the Go+ follows. The Datsun Go+ will be built in Nissan’s plant in Purwakarta. The 13 feet long, 5+2 MPV is somewhat disproportional, but this will surely not bother the Indian families and taxi companies that need this kind of seating capacity at an affordable price.
Under the bonnet, there will be a 1.2-liter engine and a five-speed manual transmission. The engine is tuned for fuel efficiency and good acceleration, and thanks to the relative small and light body, it is likely to be quite agile. The simple technology has another advantage: the Datsun Go+ will have a really low price tag. 100 million rupiah ($8,700) for a new car is not much even in Southeast Asia.
The Datsun Go+ is intended to be sold only on developing markets. One interesting feature of the car will be the Datsun Mobile Docking Station – the practical solution of smart-phones integration into the car. The first cars will hit the streets in India next year, but there are plans to sell it in Indonesia, Russia and South Africa from 2014.
“With the return of the Datsun brand, we are changing mobility. And we’re ensuring greater access to the pride, independence and opportunities that car ownership provides. It’s exciting to know that, for many Indonesians, the first new car they buy will be a Datsun,” said Carlos Ghosn, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. President and CEO, unveiling the Datsun Go+.