Datsun reveals new On-Do budget sedan in Russia [w/video]Tue, 08 Apr 2014
When Nissan revived the Datsun brand name, it essentially hit the "undo" button on the rebranding it undertook decades ago. But this time, the Datsun name is being used solely as a budget brand for developing markets. The reborn marque launched in India this past July with its Go hatchback, returned in September with the Go+ minivan and revealed the Redi-Go concept just last month. And now it's back again with the new On-Do sedan.
Launched in Moscow by CEO Carlos Ghosn, the On-Do was designed and engineered in Japan specifically for the Russian market – Nissan's fifth largest worldwide – where it will be built at the AvtoVaz plant in Togliatti. Decidedly budget-oriented, the Datsun On-Do is a four-door, five-seat econo-box measuring 172 inches long, 67 inches wide and 60 inches tall with an 18.7 cubic-foot trunk which Datsun describes as class-leading. Punctuating an otherwise bland shape is a large front grille and lighting front and rear that looks (and very well might be) bigger than the wheels.
Not that the Datsun On-Do needs a big contact patch to transfer power to the road: motivation is provided by a 1.6-liter engine with a grand total of – wait for it... wait a little longer – 87 horsepower. Which might strike you as a reasonable amount of muscle, considering the 400,000 rubles Datsun is getting for the On-Do (but consider that translates to about $11,300). That's a couple grand more than what Nissan gets for the Micra in that other giant northern country, or about the same amount it gets for the Versa in the US (which sells in Russia for 499k in rubles) – both of which are powered by what is in all likelihood the same 1.6-liter four but producing 109 hp. Of course Russia has different tax rates than the United States or Canada, but with such little power, the Datsun would fall into Russia's lowest tax bracket.
Head on down below to scope out the details in the press release along with the video of the presentation.
Apr. 4, 2014
Datsun ready for Russia
- Datsun makes its Russian debut with all-new Datsun on-DO four-door, five-seat family sedan
- Datsun on-DO
...is robust, roomy, reliable and modern
...is infused with Japanese DNA and quality
...was styled in Japan and engineered specifically for Russia
- Datsun joins Nissan and Infiniti to cover all segments of the Russian car market
MOSCOW, Russia – 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.
Datsun, one of the oldest names in motoring history, arrives in Russia exactly one hundred years after the first DAT car was created in Japan.
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.
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. New Datsun brand stand for Dream, Access and Trust. The overall Datsun customer offer will include a worry-free ownership experience at competitive cost, accessible services, with transparent pricing, and dealership proximity. Datsun starts sales in India, Indonesia, Russia and South Africa 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 first letters of family names of the three financiers who supported the business at the time: Den, Aoyama and Takeuchi. 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 lightweight, economical yet resilient car to meet the aspirations of young 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.
By Noah Joseph
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