Nissan is killing Datsun again

Rebooted brand sold $4,000 cars in emerging markets

Nissan is pulling the plug on its recently rebooted Datsun brand amid falling sales.

Datsun Redi-Go

The Datsun Redi-Go has a starting price of approximately $4,000. (Sonu Mehta/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

The classic nameplate was resurrected by former CEO Carlos Ghosn in 2014 for a line of low-budget vehicles, starting at $4,000, targeted at emerging markets, including India, Kazakhstan, South Africa, Russia and Lebanon.

Nissan had previously discontinued production of Datsun models in Indonesia and Russia in 2020 and has now ceased manufacturing the Redi-Go at its factory in Chennai, India.

Carlos Ghosn and Datsun vehicles

Former Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn resurrected the Datsun brand for the 2014 model year. (Dimas Ardian/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Datsun brand sales dropped from a record high of 87,300 in 2016 to just 6,400 last year, Nikkei reported.

"As part of Nissan's global transformation strategy, Nissan is focusing on core models and segments that bring the most benefit to customers, dealer partners and the business," the company said in the statement.

Datsun Go

The Datsun Go is powered by a 67 hp three-cylinder engine. (Dimas Ardian/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Nissan originally sold passenger cars under the Datsun marque from the early 1930s until 1986. It was a play on the name of the automaker's predecessor DAT Motor Vehicle and was initially spelled Datson, as in "son of DAT." According to Nissan, the spelling was changed to Datsun because "son" also means "loss" in Japanese and "sun" has "brighter associations."


Nissan will continue to sell out the remaining stock of Datsun cars and offer full service for them, as they share components with other Nissan models.