Datsun to Sell Vehicles in South Africa
-Lead-off model to be a new passenger vehicle
-Introduction to South Africa anticipated in 2014; Datsun sales now planned for four destinations (South Africa, India, Indonesia and Russia)
YOKOHAMA, Japan - Datsun, a Nissan Motor Co. brand designing vehicles for high-growth markets, today announced that it is set to return to South Africa. The first model to be introduced in South Africa will be a new passenger vehicle that will be launched by the end of 2014.
This follows a global decision in 2010 to re-introduce the Datsun brand as part of the company’s ambitious Nissan Power 88 mid-term plan to achieve 8 percent of the global market share and 8 percent operating profit by fiscal year 2016.
“The return of Datsun is integral to our expansion in fast-growing markets where there is a mushrooming upwardly-mobile segment,“ said Vincent Cobee, corporate vice president at Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., and head of the Datsun brand. “Datsun’s key values – accessible, reliable and modern - are designed to accommodate the needs and aspirations of this target group, just as it did for similarly optimistic customers in Japan, America and a large part of the world during most of the 20th century.”
Datsun was phased out in 1981 when it was integrated with Nissan branding as the company expanded globally. Datsun is to be re-established with a strong independent brand identity, alongside the Nissan and Infiniti brands.
“Following Infiniti’s launch last year, we are delighted that South Africa is also a destination of choice for Datsun vehicles,“ said Mike Whitfield, managing director of Nissan South Africa (NSA). “Datsun enjoyed a proud heritage in the country after the Bluebird made its debut at the Pretoria Show in 1958, the 120Y and SSS models were household names, before going on to become the number one brand between 1976 and 1978.”
Datsun will launch in South Africa with one passenger vehicle model; it is anticipated that a broader range of Datsun vehicles will be available in the future.
“Our aim is to deliver new and exciting products that meet local customer needs assured by global Japanese OEM (original equipment manufacturer) expertise and technology" said Cobee.
The distinctive Datsun logo, he said, embodies the brand’s styling identity.
“The inner portion of the logo preserves the essence of the original Datsun logo with a blue bar striking through the rising sun. This reflects the founding spirit of ‘sincerity leads to success’,“ explained Cobee. “The rising sun represents the energy of rising towards a better tomorrow and the striking blue bar represents pure integrity built into providing innovative solutions. The outer shape represents the edge and modernity of the new Datsun brand. The blue brand color is embedded in our heritage which is rooted in sincerity and trustworthiness.”
The brand is also to be introduced in India, Indonesia and Russia in 2014.
Datsun originated in Japan as DAT-GO (the DAT-car) almost a century ago in 1914. The word DAT means ‘lightning-fast’ in Japanese but is also a reference to the three financiers who supported the business at the time – namely Mssrs. Den, Aoyama and Takeuchi – an acronym of the first letter of each name. Using the same logic, it was promoted as Durable, Attractive and Trustworthy, or DAT for short.
In 1933, Nissan’s founding father Yoshisuke Aikawa took over the business with a vision of “mobility for all". The introduction of a light-weight, economical yet resilient car to meet the aspiration of Japanese people in the early 1930s was named the ‘son of DAT’ - Datson - which later changed to Datsun. Local engineering and mass-production made the founder’s dream a reality.
Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. announced the return of the Datsun brand, Nissan’s third global brand, alongside Nissan and Infiniti, in March 2012. Datsun will provide a sustainable motoring experience to optimistic up-and-coming customers in high-growth markets. Datsun represents 80 years of accumulated Japanese car-making expertise and is an important part of Nissan’s DNA. Datsun vehicles will start sales in India, Indonesia, Russia and South Africa from 2014.
About Nissan in South Africa
Nissan South Africa is Nissan’s operational hub for Africa, serving its key South Africa market and 22 countries in Sub Saharan Africa. The company offers a range of locally-produced and imported vehicles in these markets. Employing nearly 2000 people, its Rosslyn manufacturing plant manufactures the NP200, Hardbody NP300, Tiida and Livina as well the Sandero for Alliance partner Renault. Nissan South Africa is in the vanguard of the recovery of the South African automotive industry and in 2012 regularly outperformed the local market. In the last calendar year Nissan SA brands sold 49 927 units.
Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., Japan’s second-largest automotive company, is headquartered in Yokohama, Japan, and is part of the Renault-Nissan Alliance. Operating with more than 248,000 employees globally, Nissan provided customers with more than 4.9 million vehicles in 2012, generating revenue of 9.4 trillion yen ($US118.95 billion) in fiscal 2011. With a strong commitment to developing exciting and innovative products for all, Nissan delivers a comprehensive range of 64 models under the Nissan and Infiniti brands. A pioneer in zero-emission mobility, Nissan made history with the introduction of the Nissan LEAF, the first affordable, mass-market, pure-electric vehicle and winner of numerous international accolades, including the prestigious 2011-2012 Car of the Year Japan and 2011 World Car of the Year awards.
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