A new version of Datsun car (sub-brand of Japan’s Nissan company) has been launched in commercial production at the Togliatti-based plant of Russia’s major car maker AVTOVAZ. It is a front-wheel drive car Dastun on-DO (Dream version) on the LADA Kalina platform.
Nissan manufactured the Datsun branded cars from 1931 to 1986. In 2012, the Japanese car giant made a decision to revive the brand especially for Russia and other countries. In the same year, AVTOVAZ and Nissan Manufacturing Rus signed an agreement on the preparations for, creation of a facility and assembly of Datsun-branded cars in Russia. According to Director of Datsun Russia Jerome Saigot, sales of this model in Russia may reach 100,000 vehicles by 2016.
He said Datsun on-DO would strengthen the B segment (light cars) and would be sold at prices comparable to Russia’s most popular and best seller models, such as LADA Kalina and LADA Priora.
AVTOVAZ is Russia’s biggest car maker. The majority ownership in the company belongs to the Renault-Nissan alliance from June 2014. AVTOVAZ produces light cars and freight cars under its own LADA trademark and Nissan-designed cars, as well as assemblies Renault-designed cars.
Datsun on-DO will become the second model, which will be produced by AVTOVAZ in the format of its partnership with Nissan. In 2012, Russia’s car giant started assembling a four-door Nissan Almera sedan at its Togliatti-based plant.
All in all, more than 20 automobile plants are manufacturing cars in Russia. The bulk of them are engaged in the assembly of foreign-designed brands. On the background of the ongoing upgrading of AVTOVAZ facilities, the year of 2013 saw a decline in the sales of Russia-designed cars - 487,000 cars in 2013 versus 580,000 in 2012, while the sales of Russia-assembled foreign designed cars increased from 1,205,000 cars in 2012 to 1,310,000 vehicles in 2013.