Fully equipped with cool, retro safety features
Photo ©2012 AP via AAP/Koji Sasahara
Nissan chief executive Carlos Ghosn wants to relaunch retro-brand Datsun with a price tag as low as $US3000 ($A2910) when it hits the road in 2014, a report said.
The company will target drivers in developing nations - India, Indonesia and Russia - offering the barebones model at prices that put it well below current Nissan offerings, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The paper, citing interviews with Ghosn and other executives, said Nissan is aiming for six Datsun models at between $US3000 and $US5000, a price that only a handful of Indian- and Chinese-made cars could compete with.
So how will they keep them so cheap? Just polish up old 120Ys and 180Bs?
No, they’ll simply take advantage of the developing world’s lack of safety standards.
Not to mention cheap labour and parts, sourced almost entirely from the country in which the finished product is to be made and sold.
"If you go to the US, it's not going to end up being $3000," Ghosn told the paper in an article published Monday.
Analysts have said the plan to reanimate the Datsun brand could help Nissan get around the problem of is a way of producing vehicles cheap enough to compete in emerging markets without damaging their main brand’s reputation.
Nissan expects that emerging economies will account for three-fifths of all sales five years from now, compared with 43 per cent now.
The Brazilian-born Ghosn said a future Datsun would be "modern and fresh" and had to appeal to buyers in developing markets because it would make "them feel good and is in their budget".
So the streets of Mumbai and Jakarta could soon be filled with young hoons chucking doughies, harking back to a simpler time in the West, before road-toll policies and carbon emission reductions.
© 2012 AFP