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Datsun Returns For International Markets

What’s old is new – that has proven itself to be true over and over again. 10, 15 years ago who would have thought Datsun would be returning? 31 years ago Nissan ditched the Datsun brand in the United States in favor of its corporate name, Nissan.

The company used Nissan sparingly on higher-end models throughout the 1950s and 60s, but Datsun was the mainstream brand . After a renaming effort, Nissan began to be used in the U.S and globally.

The rest is history. In populous, emerging markets around the world there is an emphasis on small, low-cost cars yet again – you know, like the ones Datsun used to make. Renault launched Dacia as a low-cost brand and Nissan is joining the fray with Datsun. Rather than come up with a whole new brand, Nissan chose to bring back one from its past. According to the company, 31 years after it was discontinued, Datsun has an enduring reputation for value and reliability. Who are we to argue?

We think its more likely they didn’t want to sully Nissan’s good name with the subpar vehicles the name will get slapped on. Cynical, we know. Either way, we won’t have to worry about Datsun here. Nissan says the brand will be sold only in high-growth markets. That includes India, Indonesia and Russia, which begin sales in 2014.

Availability probably will expand thereafter, but not to the U.S. Of course, the “grass is greener” crowd will want Datsuns to come here, but as far as we’re concerned this is one international item we’re probably glad will stay that way. With a launch in 2014, expect to see some of the new Datsun models debut at auto shows around the world next year. They will come in at under the existing range of Nissan models, which in the U.S bottoms out with the Versa.