Time to replace this little beauty with the Lada in Russia, the Tata in India, and whatever they drive in Brazil.
We were quite excited when we first got wind that Nissan was planning to revive its long dormant Datsun brand. That excitement was very short lived, however, because this reborn Datsun wouldn't be coming to the US. Instead, it's meant to be an affordable brand for emerging markets such as Brazil, India and Russia. The latter specifically has the potential to be extremely lucrative in the years ahead.
According to Datsun's director of operations in Russia, "The main objective is to be a serious alternative to the used car market – this is where we want to compete." Basically, Russia has a growing middle class that's got some spare extra cash and more often than not drives old and beat up cars. The lure of buying something brand spanking new instead of used will be very appealing. Hyundai and Kia had the same basic business plan several years ago in the US. In Russia, about six million used cars change hands every year, and Datsun sees huge potential within that market. The price of entry to Datsun will be below RUB 400,000 (about $12,100), and first-time buyers will also be targeted.