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Death of Datsun update: Nissan SA responds and new revival rumours surface

Published May 4, 2022


Johannesburg: Nissan South Africa has reiterated its support for Datsun customers following last week’s news that the budget brand was being discontinued abroad.

“As part of Nissan’s global transformation strategy, Nissan is focusing on core models and segments that bring the most benefit to customers, dealer partners and the business,” Nissan South Africa said in a statement.

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“We can reassure all existing and future Datsun owners that customer satisfaction remains our priority, and we will continue to provide the highest levels of aftersales service, parts availability and warranty support from our national dealership network.”

Following the closure of the last Datsun facilities in India, South African sales of the Datsun Go have been slow in recent months and it would appear as if stock has now run dry given that Nissan reported no sales for its budget hatchback model in April.

Nissan first killed off the Datsun nameplate in 1981 in favour of its own branding, but it was revived as a budget brand for emerging markets in 2013. The Datsun Go went on sale in South Africa in 2014 with a starting price of R89 500, but it soon became the subject of controversy when Global NCAP gave it a zero-star rating. Datsun did add safety kit over the years along with other much-needed refinements, but it was no longer a cheap car by the time it went off the market, with 2022 prices having started at R184 600.

But Datsun could prove to be a diehard brand after all, with Automotive News and Motor1 recently reporting that the company was contemplating reviving the brand again.

Although discussions are still in their early stages, one possible option that’s been suggested is that Datsun could carry on as a maker of low-cost electric cars.

Which seems to be what the world is crying out for right now…

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