An old favourite, the Datsun 120Y.
An old favourite, the Datsun 120Y. drive.com.au

Blast from the past: Datsun to return

AFTER almost a year of rumours Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn confirmed the return of the Datsun brand overnight.

But Aussie 'Dato' fans shouldn't get too excited because the brand will be used in emerging markets as a low-cost alternative to Nissan. The first Datsun-badged cars will go on sale in Russia, India and Indonesia in 2014.

It was hardly a glitzy re-launch of the brand with the official confirmation coming as the last paragraph in a press release about Nissan's plans in Indonesia.

"While talking to the media, Ghosn announced the return of the Datsun brand, Nissan's third global brand, alongside Nissan and Infiniti," the statement read. "Datsun will provide sustainable motoring experience to optimistic up-and-coming customers in high-growth markets. Datsun represents 80 years of accumulated Japanese car making expertise and is an important part of Nissan's DNA."

The move mimics Ghosn's plans with Nissan's alliance partner Renault. The French brand uses the Dacia name for low-cost models built on the underpinnings of older models, and sold at a cheaper price and in emerging markets.

Datsun was phased out of the Australian market in favour of Nissan branding in 1981.

It built cars such as the 120Y, 1600, Bluebird and sporty 240Z and 260Z.



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