By the looks of it, it seems like Nissan’s low cost small car brand Datsun is moving really swiftly. By the end of July 2013, the first Datsun small car could be unveiled in India with no less a personality than Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn doing the unveiling honors. Dubbed the K2 concept, the first Datsun that’ll be showcased in 2013 is expected to be based on the older Micra platform. The hatchback is expected to sit in the B+ segment hatchback space in the Indian car market and is expected to be built at the Renault-Nissan joint manufacturing facility at Oragadam, off Chennai.
A sketch of a Datsun car from the 1980s used as an illustration
In the same year, Datsun could release another car, in the form of the K2 based MPV. The K2 based MPV is expected to be unveiled in Indonesia during October 2013. So, 2013 could herald not one, but two Datsun cars aimed at two big emerging markets, India and Indonesia. It remains to be seen if Datsun will launch the 7 seat MPV in India as well or whether the MPV will be specific to the Indonesian car market. In 2014, Datsun will launch another small car in the Indian car market, in the form of the I2 entry level small car.
The I2 entry level small car is expected to compete with the likes of the Maruti Alto and the Hyundai Eon. The Datsun entry level small car is expected to be priced at under INR 3 lakh, a segment which plays host to the highest monthly volumes with the Maruti Alto 800 alone clocking over 20,000 monthly units consistently. The 2014 Indian Auto Expo will play to the Datsun I2 and K2 small cars, both of which are expected to be launched in the India later that year. In the same year, the 7 seat Datsun MPV is expected to go on sale in Indonesia while Russia could get an entry level sedan based on the Lada Granta.
Apart from selling Datsun cars in India, Indonesia and Russia, Nissan has big plans for this low cost car brands. Many other emerging markets in Africa, Latin America and Asia is expected to see the launch of Datsun low cost small cars. In India, Indonesia and Russia, the Datsun cars built will feature a high amount of localization to keep costs low. It remains to be seen whether Nissan distributes the Datsun range of cars through its current dealership network or whether it establishes a separate dealer network for selling Datsun cars.