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Published on July 15th, 2013 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez


Datsun ‘GO’ is a Go Ahead

Nissan Motor Co. has just unveiled the Go five-door hatchback, the first model under the revived Datsun brand. The Go will go on sale in 3rd world motoring countries like India, Russia, South Africa and Indonesia within two years. Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn unveiled the Go at an event in New Delhi today as part of the company’s push to target the growing middle classes in emerging markets. He did not disclose the car’s pricing but said it will be under 400,000rupees (USD$6,700).
Ghosn said the brand will “contribute significantly” to Nissan’s expansion in high-growth markets.The front-wheel drive hatchback will come with a 1.2 -liter engine paired with a five-speed manual transmission. In developing economies such as India, Russia and Indonesia, Nissan doesn’t offer passenger vehicles in the lowest price ranges, which account for about 40 percent of the market, Ghosn has said.

Datsun will target first-time buyers upgrading from motorcycles or used cars, allowing the automaker to reach a new market segment. Ghosn will have to overcome an initial lack of brand recognition for the Datsun among consumers in emerging markets, where the automaker is pushing to gain more sales from first-time buyers. Reviving the Datsun name, even if it’s unfamiliar to consumers in emerging markets, beats starting a new brand, he said. Nissan said the Go has comparatively compact body dimensions at 1635mm wide, 1485mm tall and 3785mm long) but is spacious inside thanks to a wide stance and its 2450mm wheelbase. The Go shares its platform with the India-built Nissan Micra/March and is similar in size to the Micra but lower.

The hatchback will be built at the Renault-Nissan’s 400,000-cars-per-year plant outside Chennai, southern India. Production is also planned by AvtoVAZ in Togliatti, Russia, and in Indonesia, reports have said. The Go will be followed by other models over the next three years. Nissan may also sell Datsun cars in Latin America. “Brazil is a possibility,” Trevor Mann, an executive vice president said. Datsun was mothballed in 1981 after Nissan decided to badge future products under its namesake brand.

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