2014 Datsun low cost sedan could be based on Russian carmaker AvtoVAZ’s Lada Granta
Earlier this year, the global alliance of Renault-Nissan raised their stake in Russian car maker AvtoVAZ to over 50%, thus assuming majority stake in the automaker. Another event that happened earlier this year was the resurrection of Nissan’s low cost brand, Datsun. The Datsun brand will be primarily aimed at Russia, India and Indonesia and Nissan has stated that cars would be customized to suit these countries along with specific models built for specific needs. Also, local sourcing and production will be the major philosophies that will underlie the Datsun brand.
Now, AvtoVAZ’s sedan model called the Lada Granta could be the basis for a low cost sedan under the Datsun branding. This low cost sedan could initially be a Russia specific model for starters given that the Indian market will see the debut of two hatchbacks under the Datsun umbrella first. Given that Datsun has plans of building cars based on older generation car models, the Granta based sedan seems like a distinct possibility. Incidentally, Datsun is said to have plans of building a low cost hatchback for the Indian market, based on the previous generation Micra small car.
Also, since hatchbacks are more favoured in a country like India, which has its own share of low cost sedans like the Toyota Etios, the Mahindra Verito and the Tata Indigo eCS, the Lada Granta based Datsun sedan might not be in the scheme of things until 2015 at least. For other emerging markets though, the Datsun low cost sedan could make a lot of sense. So, Russia’s AvtoVAZ could become a production hub, given that Datsun does have plans of exporting the different car models from major production hubs like India, Russia and Indonesia.
Other details about the Datsun sedan remain unknown at this point in time. That said, the Datsun sedan could be the first product that the Japanese brand might launch in the Russian market come 2014, even as markets like India and Indonesia get entry level hatchbacks. Datsun plans to showcase its first model for the Indian car market at the 2014 Auto Expo, following which the entry level hatchback would be launched in India. Datsun has plans of building five low cost model, which could include 3 hatchbacks, a sedan and an MPV. Of these models, two hatchbacks are certainties for the Indian car market, with one hatchback said to be based on the previous generation Micra small car.