Nissan South Africa has officially confirmed that it will be joining India, Russia, and Indonesia in phasing-out the Datsun brand within the next few months.
Last month, reports from India confirmed claims dating from 2019 that the Datsun name, revived in 2013 as a low-cost marque aimed at developing countries by then Nissan and Renault CEO Carlos Ghosn, would be shelved for the second time. This after initially being discontinued in 1986 as attention shifted squarely on Nissan in Japan and abroad.
“As part of Nissan’s global transformation strategy, the company is focusing on core models and segments that bring the most benefit to customers, dealer partners and the business,” Autocar India reported Nissan as saying in a statement on Datsun’s departure.
The publication further reported that the final Datsun model, a redi-Go, left the Chennai assembly plant on 20 April, thus bringing the curtain down on all of the marque’s factories following the closure of Indonesian and Russian facilities two years ago.
Apart from the Indian-only redi-Go, the Go hatch, the Go+ seven-seat MPV, and its crossover-inspired sibling, the Cross, Datsun badges also featured on two Russian-exclusive models; the mi-Do spun-off the Lada Kalina hatch, and the on-Do based on the Lada Granta sedan.
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Commenting on the end of Datsun, Nissan South Africa Marketing Director, Stefan Haasbroek, confirmed that both the Go and Go+ are currently on run-out with the final shipment from India set to arrive soon.
“From an emotional point-of-view, Datsun is a very special part of our history, but we have to have a clear strategy (going forward) that is executable,” Haasbroek told The Citizen.
Once one of the country’s top-selling brands with over 1 000 unit sales a month despite widescale initial criticism of the Go’s lack of safety features, only 2 732 Datsuns were sold in South Africa last year. For 2022, a mere 48 units have been moved, with April yielding sales of zero.
Haasbroek, however, stated that existing Datsun owners will continue to be catered for from an aftersales and service perspective, despite the looming exit.