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About Datsun

Datsun, a Japanese brand, has its origins in Dat Motorcar Co, a Japanese automotive manufacturing company reputed for manufacturing trucks. In 1931, the Dat Motorcar Co introduced a small car and named it the ‘Datson.’ In 1934, Nissan took over the Dat Motorcar Co and renamed the Datson as Datsun. There is a specific reason for the name change. The word ‘son’ indicates ‘loss’ in Japanese whereby Nissan changed it to ‘sun’ as a mark of honour to the ‘Sun’ depicted in the Japanese National Flag. Hence, it got its name, Datsun.


After manufacturing internationally renowned models like the 510 and the Fairlady Roadster Series such as the S30, S130, 240Z, 260Z and so on, Nissan discontinued the manufacture of the Datsun vehicles in 1986. Subsequently, they re-introduced the brand in 2013 to cater to the low-cost car demand of the South East Asian market.


On July 15, 2013, Nissan introduced the Datsun vehicle in the Indian market through their Datsun GO and the Datsun redi-GO models. These models are two of the lowest priced Datsun car models in India. Datsun maintains its reputation of launching a low-cost model with the Datsun 7-seater car price being INR 5.75 lakhs for the top variant.


Foundation of Datsun Cars


The distinction of introducing the Datsun cars should ideally go to Kaishinsha Motorcar Works, a Japanese motor car manufacturing company that introduced a small car in 1914 and named it the DAT car. In native Japanese, the word ‘datto’ means to ‘run fast’ or ‘dash off’. Hence, the name DAT seemed appropriate for the small car capable of dashing off at reasonable speeds.


In 1925, Kaishinsha Motorcar Works changed their name to Dat Motorcar Co. They concentrated on building large trucks as there was no market for the small cars at that time. With the Japanese Government allowing the driving of cars up to 500 cc without a licence, the Dat Motorcar Co concentrated on building a small passenger car. It was the birth of the first Datson in 1931, later renamed as Datsun in 1933.


The Acquisition and Expansion


The Dat Motorcar Co was one of the largest Japanese truck manufacturers during the years immediately after the First World War. Since 1920, the demand for military trucks started declining, thereby forcing the company to merge with other automotive companies like Jitsuyo Jidosha a.k.a Jitsuyo Motors. Dat Motorcar Co became DAT Automobile Manufacturing Co Ltd.


They introduced the first Datsun as a 495 cc vehicle (Datsun Type 11s) because the Japanese Government allowed driving of cars up to 500 cc without a driving licence. When the Government revised the limit up to 750 cc, the company introduced a 750 cc engine in Datsun cars and named it the Type 12s. Nissan took over the company in 1934.


In 1935, the company started a production line resembling the Ford assembly line and introduced a car that resembled the Austin 7. Nissan began exporting the vehicles to the Australian and New Zealand markets in 1936. The onset of the Pacific War saw Datsun concentrating on manufacturing trucks for the Army.


With the end of the WW II, Nissan resumed production in 1947. They started building small cars, the DB and DS models. In 1955,  the company introduced the saloon models, the 110 and the 120 pickup truck. Datsun cars entered the American market in 1958. However, the Americans were familiar with the name Datsun because Nissan used to name its in-house produced cars as Datsun.


Datsun introduced the 310 in California in 1958. In 1962, Nissan sold its Patrol model as competition to Toyota’s Land Cruiser. The year 1966 saw Datsun introducing the 1000 cc vehicle with its model, Skyline. The Bluebird 510 followed this sports car in 1967.


In 1981, the company took a corporate decision to stop using the name Datsun on their vehicles. They changed it to Nissan to compete with their famed rivals, Toyota and Honda. They started using the name ‘Datsun by Nissan.’ In 1986, they discontinued the production of Datsun.


In 2012, Nissan took a conscious decision of re-launching the Datsun as a low-cost car for the Indonesian, Indian and the South African markets. On 15th July 2013, the name Datsun made an official reappearance. Nissan relaunched the Datsun brand in New Delhi with the unveiling of the Datsun GO. The Renault-Nissan factory in Chennai manufactures the Datsun GO on the same platform as Nissan Micra and Nissan V. The Datsun redi-GO, a cheaper version of the Datson GO is also available in India since 2015. The GO Plus is a Datsun Car 7-seater model introduced in India in 2013.


Datsun Cars Photos


Here are the Datsun car images that show that this car can indeed compete with the other passenger hatchback models like Hyundai Santro and so on.

Passenger Hatchback:  Datsun redi-GO | Datsun GO

7-seater MPV: Datsun GO Plus

Upcoming Datsun Cars: Datsun Go-Cross


Datsun Cars – Frequently Asked Questions


1. Does Datsun GO come with automatic transmission system?

No, Datsun GO does not have an automatic transmission system. It works on manually-operated gears. The redi-GO 1.0 T (O) AMT and the 1.0 S AMT are the only Datsun automatic cars in India. These cars come with both the automatic and manual transmission system.  


2. What is the price range of Datsun car models?

Of the three Datsun models in India, the Datsun redi-GO is the least expensive as it is available at prices ranging from INR 2.58 to 4.29 lakhs. The Datsun GO that offers stiff competition to other models like Santro and the Alto is available between INR 3.29 and 4.89 lakhs whereas the Datsun 7-seater car GO Plus price in India ranges between INR 3.83 and 5.69 lakhs..


3. Is the Datsun car 7-seater diesel or petrol vehicle?

There is no Datsun car 7-seater diesel version. There are five petrol variants of Datsun GO Plus, the 7-seater MPV. There are no Datsun diesel cars in India today.


4. What are the Datsun upcoming cars?

The upcoming Datsun GO Cross could be the first Datsun car 7-seater diesel version as we expect the roll-out of both the petrol and diesel variants.


5. Why is the Datsun car on-road price more than the ex-showroom price?

The Datsun car on-road price includes additional expenses such as registration, road tax, insurance and so on. Hence, the on-road price is more than the ex-showroom price.


6. Who are the immediate competitors to the Datson low price car?

The Datsun low price car competes with other hatchback models like the Hyundai Santro, Maruti Alto, Ford Figo, Renault Kwid and so on. However, the redi-GO model is cheaper than all these models mentioned above.


7. What is the expected cost of the Datsun upcoming car?

We expect the Datsun upcoming car, the Datsun GO-Cross to be available in the price range of INR 5 to 7 lakhs.


8. Who manufactures Datsun cars in India?

Renault Nissan manufactures Datsun cars in India at their plant near Chennai in South India.


9. What is the mileage performance of all Datsun cars?

The Datsun redi-GO delivers a mileage performance of 25.17 kmpl with its 799 cc engine. The Datsun GO has an 1198 cc petrol engine that produces a mileage of around 20.1 kmpl. The Datsun car 7-seater model gives a mileage of 20.6 kmpl.


10. Do Datsun cars come with safety features like airbags?

The Datsun GO Plus comes with two airbags at the front for the driver and co-passenger. The Datsun GO also comes with dual airbags. The Datsun redi-GO does not have the airbag feature.