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Datsun is back

The Datsun 240Z enjoys cult status in Australia.
Neil Dowling
Contributing Journalist
CarsGuide

21 Mar 2012 • 2 min read

But everyone who's old enough knows you're talking about Datsun. Well, rejoice. The name is back.

After being flung as signage from the corporate rooftops in 1986, parent company Nissan says the name Datsun will again be plastered on some of its cars.

But the deal is the cars will be inexpensive and initially for emerging markets. Production of the boot badges starts in 2014 for Russia, Indonesia and India.

Cars started wearing the Datsun badge in 1933 - 19 years after the first DAT car was made - and endured through Australian market cars such as the 240Z, 120Y and 180B before parent company Nissan in 1981 (1986 in Australia) put on its own moniker.

The name change campaign lasted from 1982 to 1986. Datsun-badged vehicles had been progressively fitted with small Nissan and "Datsun by Nissan'' badges from the late 1970s.

The announcement that Datsun would join Nissan and Infiniti nameplates came this week from Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn. 

He says the resurrected name will strengthen Nissan's foothold in emerging markets by offering inexpensive, fuel-efficient vehicles.

But no specific models have been announced. Nissan in 2011 sold 60,000 cars in the expanding Indonesian market, and forecasts that to swell to 250,000 by 2014.

Nissan this week announced a new factory in Indonesia which will become one of Asia's biggest Nissan facilities. It will build some Datsun-branded cars.