(Relaxnews) – Nissan is to revive the Datsun brand after three decades as a new low-cost car brand for emerging markets, it confirmed March 20.
The decision will see new Datsuns return to the roads in 2014, over 30 years after the name was dropped by Nissan in 1983 in favor of ‘Nissan’ as the global name.
Datsuns, like the Nissans which followed them, had a reputation for being cheap and reliable cars with low maintenance costs — plenty are still on the roads in developing countries and as racing vehicles.
The car firm which we now know as Nissan started making cars in 1914, producing the DAT — it was the second generation, which came in 1931, that would be referred to as the ‘son of DAT’ and eventually morph to Datsun.
After the Second World War, Datsun became a well-recognized, global brand, enjoying success both with consumers on the road and on the race track, where many can be found today, particularly in fan clubs in the US.
As recently as 2003 and 2005, Datsun vehicles took the Classic Safari Rally, widely recognized as among the world’s toughest races — back in the 1970s, Datsun 240Z models notched up a string of wins.
Because of its racing prowess, the 240Z is the model most of us would most likely recognize today — also sold as the Fairlady in Japan, the 240Z was part of Nissan’s Z-car series, still the record-holder for the best-selling sports car series of all time, with over two million sold.
Datsun also manufactured the Sunny before it was handed over to Nissan in the early 1980s, as well as the Bluebird, which was one of the first Japanese cars to be sold in serious numbers in Europe.
Although sometimes unfairly maligned, Datsun laid foundations for Nissan’s transformation into one of the world’s top automotive brands — the firm’s bosses will now be hoping that the revived name can help again as it fights for market share in the developing world.