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Datsun Gone: End of the road for budget brand as India production stops

Published Apr 25, 2022

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Chennai, India - The writing has been on the wall for quite some time, but now it’s official - the Datsun brand is set to ride into the sunset.

According to The Economic Times of India, production at the budget brand’s last assembly plant in Chennai, India, has come to an end.

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Nissan South Africa is currently preparing a statement on the Datsun brand and we will update this story when we receive it on Tuesday.

Falling stock levels for the Datsun Go have been very much evident in the most recent Naamsa sales reports, which show that Nissan sold just seven Go models in March, 14 in February and 27 in January.

It has been nine years since Nissan announced that it would revive Datsun as a global brand for emerging markets. Its first product, the Datsun Go was launched in South Africa in late 2014 with a starting price of R89 500.

However, it soon became the subject of criticism when Global NCAP handed the Datsun Go a zero-star safety rating. Later on, a South African spec Datsun Go+, fitted with a single airbag, scored one star.

Thankfully the Datsun did receive various safety upgrades over the years, and in more recent times it gained dual airbags and ABS, while the Lux variant also got stability control.

Unfortunately it also became somewhat more expensive over the years, and the line-up is currently priced between R184 600 and R223 800, while stocks last of course.

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As far as Datsun’s demise goes, the writing has been on the wall for quite some time. In May 2020 it was reported that, as part of a major cost-cutting restructuring process, the Datsun brand would be gradually phased out, starting with markets such as Indonesia and Russia.

Interestingly the current Nissan Magnite was originally meant to be a Datsun product, as you might find evident in the grille design.

The Datsun Go isn’t the only budget hatch to be disappearing from the local market. It’s also the end of the road for the Ford Figo, which has been discontinued in India after the Blue Oval pulled out of that market.

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