Datsun is an automobile brand owned by Nissan since 1931. Between 1958 to 1986, vehicles exported by Nissan were identified as Datsun in international markets. However by 1986 Nissan had phased out the Datsun brand name. In June 2013, Nissan resurrected the Datsun brand for low-cost vehicles specifically made for the emerging markets.
According to Nissan, Datsun’s reputation for value and reliability would help it gain market share in emerging markets including Indonesia, South Africa, India, and Russia. Now Datsun is going to reach Pakistan under Ghandhara Nissan Limited (GNL) umbrella. Earlier in March 2018, Nissan officially announced its entry in Pakistan. The manufacturing and licensing agreement between Nissan and Ghandhara, will see the local production of Datsun models in our country.
Datsun’s international portfolio include the following vehicles.
- Go (launched 2013)
- Go+ (launched 2013)
- on-Do (launched 2014)
- mi-Do (launched 2015)
- redi-Go (launched 2016)
- Cross (launched 2018)
However as per recent reports Datsun is planning to launch an SUV which will be based on Renault-Nissan alliance’s CMF-A platform. Reportedly, the Datsun SUV will be less than four meters in length and will have crossover inspired styling, powered by a 1.0 liter turbocharged engine.
The Datsun SUV might makes its first public appearance at the Indonesia International Motor Show IIMS in April 2019 and will be subsequently launched in India and Indonesia. According to Thomas Kuehl, president Nissan India, Datsun SUV will be priced under INR 10 lac and will be a “killer” in the market.
In Pakistan, Ghandhara is not going to bring vehicles as CBU due to heavy taxes, rather the vehicles will be assembled at their facility locally. Sales of the first locally built Datsun vehicles are expected to begin in Pakistan within the 2019 fiscal year.
Although GNL officials remain tight lipped about the Datsun vehicles that are to be introduced in Pakistan, it’s quite obvious that it will be the Go hatchback and Go+ MPV, as test mules of these vehicles have already been spied on local roads.
According to our earlier discussion with a GNL executive, the Go hatchback will be competitively priced and consumers can expect a price tag lower than the Suzuki WagonR and FAW V2, however due to constantly declining rupee value against the dollar we cannot specify an exact figure at this stage. The GNL exec also indicated that the success of Datsun Go in Pakistan might open doors to more vehicles such as the Datsun Cross.
Nissan recently admitted that the Datsun product portfolio isn’t strong enough and they are aggressively working on to fix that. The recent introduction of Go and Go+ facelifts with great deal of improvements, the launch of Datsun Cross and now the development of Datsun SUV are all part of this move.