Birth of a new era, not manufacturer.
When was the last time you heard about an all-new automobile maker coming to retail cars globally at a large scale? In the recent times when existing manufacturers are busy enough developing new cars and thereafter struggling to sell them, the Japanese giant, Nissan Motor Corporation, has taken a brave step ahead to set a revolutionary example in the automotive industry by resurrecting an ancient brand called ‘Datsun’. For most Indians, Datsun would be an unknown name that was unheard of but little do we know about the grand legacy that it boasts. This is the very brand which is responsible for the success that Nissan holds today.
Founded in 1911, Masujiro Hashimoto’s name was going to be remembered for centuries to come due to Kwaishinsha Motorcar Works, a corporation that has now emerged as one the largest automobile manufacturers in the world under disguise of Nissan. It rolled out first car in 1914 christened as DAT, an acronym of the surname of company’s share holders: Kenjiro Den, Rokuro Aoyama and Meitaro Takeuchi. True DAT car was born as an outcome of the vision aimed to facilitate people with personal mobility not only in Japan but worldwide. This little DAT used to run with a miniscule two cylinders and ten horsepower engine.
Soon after, merger of Kwaishinsha with Jitsuyo Jidosha Motors formed a corporation called DAT Automobile Manufacturing which went on to materialize its dream of producing a new compact vehicle. This new DAT car of 1931 was known as ‘DATSON’. Literally translating into ‘Son’ of ‘DAT’. ‘Son’ was shortly replaced by ‘sun’ since word ‘son’ means loss in Japanese. Nissan started selling cars under Datsun name in American market to cash in its well-established image, resulting in dawn of some of the most epic cars of century such as Fairlady Z series. Eventually, the ever-strengthening image of Datsun posed a major threat to Nissan brand itself due to which the management decided to close the chapter of Datsun altogether in 1986 worldwide.
Someone rightly said, the legends never die. Datsun might have gone out of production for nearly three decades but its fan following has only continued to rise. Being sixth largest automaker on planet earth, Nissan has also achieved the success that it anticipated. There certainly couldn’t have been a better time for Nissan to regain its talisman. Exactly 100 years later, history will repeat itself as Nissan officially announces the launch of Go, the first Datsun of 21st century, this March (same month in which first ever ‘DAT’ car was released in 1914). Following its heritage, Datsun will continue to be a low-cost arm of Nissan Motors and aims to target growing markets by offering affordable as well as durable products to first time car buyers. However, situation has significantly changed since then and conquering sales chart is not going to be a cakewalk anymore. Nissan has two challenges to look into the moment Datsun hits the dealerships. First, establishing the brand itself in India. Second, marketing their car. This leaves us with one major question. Can modern day Datsun prove to be a game changer in the segment currently synonymous to its Asian counterparts?
> Datsun: Auto Expo 2014 Coverage
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> Coverage: The Making of Datsun Go. First Ever Datsun Rolls Out in India