This news is a few days old, but didn't see it anywhere on GMI and thought to post it.
Is Datsun Name Being Revived?
Rumors suggest cast-off name could be used on new brand of Nissans for emerging markets.
by Paul A. Eisenstein on Jul.05, 2011
Is Nissan ready to revive the once-familiar Datsun nameplate?
That’s the word on the web, where various sources, including Japan’s Nikkei, and U.S. site TruthAboutCars.com, have been chattering about the possibility that the once-popular brand name will be brought back. But don’t expect to see it on your next Z-car, it seems. If the rumors prove accurate, the reborn Datsun will serve as a low-cost, entry-level brand in emerging markets like China or India.
The name dates back to 1931, when the old DAT Motorcar Co. first used Datson to designate its low-end products, since “son” referred to small in Japanese. When DAT was taken over by Nissan, in 1933, the name was maintained, albeit rewritten as Datsun, the more familiar spelling, since “son” also meant, “loss.”
With that spelling it became familiar as the export name for Japan’s second-largest automaker until 1982, when Nissan began phasing Datsun out and switching to its own badge. The move was controversial and challenging, many analysts suggesting that consumer confusion led to years of decline for Nissan, which until recently slipped to the #3 spot behind its rival Honda.
According to various reports from the 1980s, Nissan spent more than $200 million – a massive sum at the time – to advertise the name change in the U.S., which ultimately proved a three-year effort, yet even then, according to the book, “Managing Brand Equity,” by David Aaker, the name, Datsun, was still more familiar than that of Nissan five years after the changeover was completed.
Well-placed inside sources tell TheDetroitBureau.com that Nissan recently took steps to “protect” the Datsun name. ensuring it remained an active trademark still owned by the Japanese maker. The official word from the maker is that, “As a normal business practice to manage our brand-related activities, Nissan regularly applies for registration of trademarks in certain countries.”
That would make it easier for the Datsun badge to be brought back — but not in the U.S. or other major market, it appears. Apparently, Nissan is looking at the old brand in a manner similar to what DAT originally conceived.
MORE AT: http://www.thedetroitbureau.com/2011...being-revived/
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Another article on this:
Datsun to make a return in emerging markets
By Brett Davis | July 6th, 2011
Remember the good old Datsuns of the 60s and 70s? The cars were cheap, offered reasonable levels of equipment and reliability and didn’t go too bad either… in their day. Now, word has it the brand could be about to make a return.
Under the wing of parent company Nissan, new Datsun models might be released into emerging markets in the coming years. The brand will apparently be set up to provide these markets with entry-level vehicles, with prices starting at around the $5000 mark.
The vehicles are likely to be sold in markets such as China and India, and other smaller markets such as those found in Latin America, parts of Africa and parts of Eastern Europe.
Details of the cars haven’t been confirmed yet as Nissan hasn’t officially announced the move, but the cars are expected to feature about the same level of equipment as the original classics.