NEW DELHI – Nissan launched a new Datsun in India on Monday, three decades after shelving the brand that helped win Western acceptance of Japanese autos.
The company hopes that bringing back the brand that built its U.S. business will fuel growth in emerging markets with a new generation of car buyers.
The re-imagined Datsun – a five-seat hatchback – will go on sale in India next year for about $6,670. It will also be sold in Indonesia and Russia, with the company saying its offerings will be tailored to each market in terms of price and size.
In India, the English-language promotional website for the car describes it as the badge of the risers, an appeal to first-time auto buyers.
The drivetrain is designed specifically to suit the local environment, eliminating any stress or complexity for the risers to go forth, the website says.
Nissan Motor Co. is hoping the comeback of one of its defining brands will herald the same rapid expansion that the Datsun provided when it hit American showrooms more than 50 years ago.
The Datsun was discontinued globally starting in 1981 to unify the model lineup under the Nissan brand. Nissan also makes Infiniti luxury models.
Faced with stagnating sales in established markets such as Japan and Europe, most global automakers have their eyes on fast-growing developing countries that also include China, Mexico and Brazil. India’s population of 1.2 billion is a lure for automakers.