Russian customers striving to own their first Japanese brand car got closer to that goal today with the launch of the Datsun brand and the introduction of the Datsun on-DO model. This marks the first time ever that the Datsun brand has been marketed in Russia and it heralds the debut of an automotive brand in Russia with a clear, attractive philosophy.
The arrival of Datsun on the Russian market makes the country unique for parent company Nissan Motor Corporation, as Russia is the first market in the region where all its three brands – Nissan, Infiniti and Datsun vehicles – will be sold, offering buyers a unique choice across virtually all vehicle segments.
Carlos Ghosn, Nissan Motor President and CEO, said when introducing the brand: “Today, Russia is our company’s 5th largest market in the world. In the next three years, we are aiming to triple our sales here – with the goal of doubling market share. And we expect the Datsun brand to contribute as much as one third of total sales. By drawing on our company’s 80 years of manufacturing and technical expertise – and by leveraging the engineering skills, market knowledge, and production capabilities of our Alliance partner, AVTOVAZ – we will deliver a Datsun line-up for the 21st century. And these cars will be fully in touch with the needs and preferences of Russian drivers.”
The Datsun on-DO is the brand’s first offering in Russia. It is a four-door, five-seat roomy family sedan (L 4337 mm / W 1700 mm / H 1500 mm) with a class-leading trunk capacity of 530L.
The name reflects the car’s multicultural influences. “DO” is a word deeply embedded in the Japanese psyche, meaning “way,” and reflects a consistent and distinctive way of doing things. It can also mean “moving,” so the Datsun “on-DO” moniker’s overall meaning refers to the brand intention of providing mobility for all in an innovative way. “On,” meanwhile, is the Russian word for “he,” underlining the car’s strength, performance and masculinity. And both words also have clear meanings in English suggesting a positive dynamism.
Styling of the Datsun on-DO was completed in Japan at the company’s advanced Global Design Center. The vehicle’s development and engineering was carried out in Russia by an international team of engineers at AVTOVAZ, backed by the full quality and technical assurance that comes with every product from the Nissan Motor Corporation. The mix of global and local inputs means the car’s modern and distinctive looks and performance are complemented by a base DNA perfectly suited to the Russia’s driving and climatic conditions.
Power will come from a proven, robust and pleasant to drive 1.6-litre, petrol engine, rated at 87 hp. The car will be attractively priced below 400 000 Roubles, detailed prices will be announced closer to the start of sales.
Datsun on-DO will be built in Russia at the AVTOVAZ plant in Togliatti.
Sales are due to start in the summer of 2014 and the car will initially be sold through a network of 25 fully branded dealerships supported by Nissan dealer investors. Located in key regions, they will be joined by further 75 outlets over the next two years.
“In markets where Datsun has been introduced so far, the brand represents modern, attractive, practical and reliable new cars as symbols of freedom and of a newly-found status. The Datsun models are new, no-compromise designs that bring modern levels of engineering, styling and ability within the reach of a new generation of car buyers,” said Vincent Cobee, Corporate vice president and Global Head of Datsun.
“We have thoroughly researched our customers’ needs and aspirations and worked hard to develop cars that are well adapted to the local environment in each market where they will be offered. The result is Datsun models which will bring a refreshing combination of accessible, reliable and enjoyable car ownership attributes to a new generation of up-and-coming customers, whom we call risers,” continued Cobee.