VIDEO: Nissan's CEO Carlos Ghosn Discusses the Return of Datsun

In recent years we’ve seen brands like Pontiac, Saturn and Saab die off for various reasons. But here’s a bit of hope for those loyalists that dream of the day that a new Pontiac rolls off the line again. 31 years after Nissan killed off the Datsun brand, Nissan has announced the rebirth of Datsun, which will be positioned as a low-cost brand for emerging markets.

Ghosn stated, “A lot of people in emerging markets today are driving motorcycles, some of them are driving used cars, others can buy a new car but, in fact, it’s antiquated with very old technology and a very old platform – cars which have been there for 20 years or more. What we want to offer is a modern, affordable car–something that people will be very happy to own, a product that is generous, giving them exactly what they want, and at an affordable price.”

Nissan has very ambitious plans, which sees the Datsun brand relaunching by 2014 in markets like Indonesia, India and Russia. Even though it may seem like a really short timeline to launch Datsun, Ghosn stated that Nissan has already been working it.

“The cars are already in development. Fortunately, we can still surprise you with what we’re doing. It’s not like now we’re going to start work–we have already sketches, models, we know exactly what we’re doing. We’re announcing today in the middle of a work-in-progress.”


When Ghosn was asked why Nissan chose to revive the Datsun brand he stated:

“Datsun is part of the heritage of the company. Why do I want to do something new if I can use the heritage of Nissan, which is long. Datsun is a good name. Datsun is part of the history of Nissan and Datsun has been part of the strength of Nissan. A modern Datsun, a revived Datsun, a Datsun of the 21st century compared with the Datsun of the 20th century. But I think it’s part of our heritage and we want to make it strong. This name belongs to us and Datsun was known for a product, which was robust, reliable and affordable. These are good attributes, but we’re not going to be limited. We’re going to add to it quality and we’re going to add to it modernity.”

So there you have it. Just because an automaker kills off a brand for whatever reason, there’s still hope that it could one day be revived…