Datsun gears up for supermini production – but it’s not coming here | CAR Magazine

Datsun gears up for supermini production – but it’s not coming here

Published: 09 July 2013 Updated: 26 January 2015

Nissan’s revival of the Datsun name kicks into first gear later this month with the official reveal of the reborn marque’s new supermini.

The new Datsun, which will share components with the Nissan Micra, will be unveiled on 15 July 2013 in New Delhi, India , before going on sale across India, Indonesia, Russia and South Africa in 2014.

What do we know about the new Datsun supermini?

Like the Dacia Sandero, the new Datsun is a back-to-basics supermini designed to appeal to emerging car markets in the Far East. From these official design sketches, it’s clear there’s been more design flair exercised than the Dacia or super low-cost Tata Nano though – check out that Qashqai-like chrome grille and the styling lines sweeping across the doors.

It’s understood that the new Datsuns will be built in Nissan facilities close to their intended market, to cut transport costs. Nissan chiefs are adamant there are no plans to bring either the Datsun supermini or any of the upcoming range of Datsuns to Europe, as Nissan’s infant sub-brand concentrates instead on the fast-growing budget car sector.

Why isn’t Datsun returning to Europe to capitalise on the recession-hit car market?

Don’t forget, Nissan is in a long-standing partnership with Renault, which owns the entry-level Dacia brand – which is sold in Europe, and doesn’t want Nissan’s brainchild cannibalising its sales. Is it a mistake to deny Europeans new Datsuns? Tell us your thoughts on Datsun’s revival in the comments below.

The biggest threat to Datsun’s comeback is VW’s secret sub-brand, which CAR scooped earlier in 2013. The ‘VW-lite’ range will include a basic supermini, saloon, estate and MPV based on old Polo mechanicals, with VW calculating India, Russia and China will be the goldmine markets to tap – the very markets where Datsun will debut.

By Ollie Kew

Former road tester and staff writer of this parish