Datsun GO & GO+: It’s Back, Baby!

The Datsun brand faded into memory in 1981 after selling 20 million cars. Now, it’s back, baby! (Read also Datsun Returns ). Rising from...

The Datsun brand faded into memory in 1981 after selling 20 million cars. Now, it’s back, baby! (Read also Datsun Returns). Rising from the ashes first in India, the Datsun made its much anticipated comeback with the launch of the Datsun GO in March this year. In the short time since, the model has reportedly garnered sales of 5000 units in the Indian market. In April 2014, Nissan achieved a 328% year-on-year improvement that is equivalent to 5031 vehicles, of which 2071 units were the Datsun GO.

According to Datsun India’s website, the GO is available in four variants – the base models D and D1, the mid-range A and the top-end T option, with prices ranging from INR312 270 to INR369 999 (USD5208 to USD6170). The Datsun GO is currently available through Nissan dealerships, but the Japanese automaker has confirmed that exclusive Datsun showrooms will be established within the next six months.

In an interview with local daily, The Hindu, Kenichiro Yomura, President of Nissan Motor India, said, "The transition has been smooth, and we are in the process of strengthening our sales, marketing and service teams. Almost all dealers have come under our fold. We have also received a lot of proposals from our existing dealers to open exclusive outlets for Datsun brand. We will make decision on those proposals by the end of this month."

Meanwhile, on 9 May, the MPV version of the GO, also known as the GO+, was officially launched in Indonesia at Nissan’s new manufacturing facility located in Purwarkata, West Java. The GO+ is built on the same GO platform and uses the same engine; its low engine capacity of 1200cc and fuel economy of more than 20km/l (as claimed by the manufacturer) allows Nissan to qualify for the LCGC programme (read also LCGC Continues to Drive Indonesia’s Auto Industry). The model’s official Indonesian name is GO+ Panca, with ‘GO’ and ‘Panca’ both denoting the number ‘five’ in the Japanese and Indonesian languages respectively. Is the name intended to represent the five doors? Five (plus two) seats? Five-speed manual transmission? Or perhaps, all of the above?

The variants listed on the Datsun Indonesia website consist of four – the D, A, T and T-Option – with prices ranging from IDR85 000 000 to IDR102 900 000 (USD7396 to USD8952).

Datsun will launch the GO+ in India some time in 2015, and will further explore the Russian and South African markets. Unfortunately, it has yet to express interest in expanding to the rest of the Asian market, where its parent brand, Nissan, has other plans. For those of us who are not in India, Indonesia, Russia and South Africa, yet are still nostalgic about the Datsun brand, we will just have to covet from afar or move to one of these four countries.


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