Posts Tagged ‘datsun’

1968 Datsun Fairlady in the Japanese Car Auctions

Posted by Stephen On Wednesday, March 9th, 2016

This has to be one of the best looking Japanese sports cars ever, with the closest rival being the original MX-5 Miata. Along with its Japanese sport scar contemporaries, the Honda S500 and Toyota Sports 800, SR311 Fairlady encompasses the essence of a genuine sports car. Not the bludgeoning horsepower warfare of supercars and hypercars, and not the cubic inch overkill of the North American muscle cars. No, this car is about the fun of driving. The pleasure of a winding road with the top down and the wind in your hair.

40,000 of these little gems were produced between 1959 and 1970, with this one being one of the latest SR311 configurations that featured a 5-speed manual transmission that replaced the previous 4-speed. With a standard 135 PS engine configuration (in a car weighing only 940KG), a top speed of 120 MPH was attainable, which was quite spritely for its time and represented excellent value for money.

Let’s take a look at this one that is in a Japan car auction in Tokyo. Here is the translation of the auction inspectors report:

“Interior C, first registered 1968 (month not stated), five-speed manual gearbox, ODOMETER CHANGED, marked as odometer changed vehicle as this is an old car, fender mirrors, steering wheel worn and has minor cracks, canvas top cut and has repair marks, possibly aftermarket seats, seats torn, rust and corrosion and paint marks underneath vehicle, interior grime and wear, dashboard loose, rust and corrosion in places, corrosion repair marks, scratches and dents and repairs, exterior paintwork cracked on bonnet and on right side sill and on left rear side panel and on rear boot lid, marks as per map”

Datsun Fairlady SR311 at auction in Japan - auction sheet

Although it says that it is an “odometer changed vehicle”, this is very common among cars of this age, simply because the seller cannot be hundred percent sure that the mileage is completely accurate. This would really only be possible if there were full-service records available. So in this case as well, the seller is probably erring on the side of caution by marking the car as such.

There is a reasonable amount of rust and corrosion on this car, so this would be more of a project vehicle. However, it’s not so bad that it is readily visible in the photographs. Take a look for yourself below:

Datsun Fairlady SR311 at auction in Japan - front

Datsun Fairlady SR311 at auction in Japan - rear

Datsun Fairlady SR311 at auction in Japan - interior


2015 Nissan’s Bumper Year In Europe

Posted by Stephen On Friday, January 29th, 2016

Nissan enjoyed its best-selling year in Europe for the brand in 2015. They had three big reveals while they continue to pump out vehicles from the Barcelona and Sunderland plants. All the marketing they’ve done in 2015 paid off. Nissan sold 715,623 vehicles last year. This number was bolstered in December with sales for that month reaching 61,823.

Nissan Leaf

If we were to look at the market share for Nissan in Europe, they only command 4 percent. Combined with their low cost, sub-premium brand Datsun, they might hold a little over 4.2 percent. Even with the numbers as low as that, they are the best-selling Japanese brand on the continent – beating out Toyota, Suzuki and every other major Japanese automaking brand.

Significant sales spikes happened in 2015. The Nissan Pulsar sold 50 percent more vehicles in 2015 that they did in 2014. The Nissan X-Trail, a vehicle similar to the Nissan Rogue, the Nissan Juke and the Nissan Qashqai also had significant increases in 2015 over reported numbers from the previous year.

The Nissan LEAF

Even the Nissan LEAF sold more than anything else. The vehicle continues to be the leading vehicle in the EV segment. They sold more than 15,000 vehicles. Nissan expects these numbers to continue to rise in 2016. The 2016 LEAF has a 30kWh capability, giving it an extended range that makes it a much more viable proposition for commuters.

For all the vehicles that Nissan sold in 2015, over 400,000 vehicles came from their Sunderland UK plant alone. That makes this particular manufacturing plant the most productive plant in the whole of the United Kingdom.

As Nissan is enjoying these numbers, they know that their work is far from complete.

Every year, their market share increases. Nissan announced that they had their best year ever when they were reporting the 2014 numbers close to a year ago. Of course, in 2014, they had 12 launches in 12 months. Put in perspective, their market share is no surprise.

What’s interesting to note is that Nissan sold 15,000 LEAFs in 2014 and that number didn’t actually rise in 2015. Either way, the Nissan LEAF is the most popular electric vehicle in the whole of Europe.

Nissan has big plans for 2016. At this point, only time will tell if this year will be better than the last. At the very least, Nissan has high hopes.


New 2015 Infiniti ESQ Unleased in the Chinese Market

Posted by Stephen On Friday, September 5th, 2014

The world’s second-largest Japanese automaker, Nissan, continues to expand their global presence with surprising frequency. Last week they introduced the Datsun mi-DO, a new budget friendly hatchback for the Russian market, and this week they’ve unveiled the Infiniti ESQ exclusively for the Chinese market.

The reveal comes at the 2014 Chengdu Auto Show, where the trend of the year is scantily clad women and luxury cars. The Infiniti ESQ wasn’t the only new premium vehicle on display, but it’s definitely one of the most eye-catching. See for yourself below:

Infiniti ESQ Crossover

Look familiar?

That’s probably because the Infiniti ESQ is essentially a pre-facelift Nissan Juke NISMO in disguise. The quirky Juke crossover has never been available for sale in China, so Infiniti decided to introduce the car in upgraded luxury form. According to their release, Infiniti is hoping to take the fun-factor of the Nissan Juke and bring it to China’s “new millennials”, which is a very important customer group to the brand’s expansion.

At this point, you’re probably wondering what separates the Nissan Juke NISMO from the new Infiniti ESQ premium crossover. But, let’s start with what’s stayed the same – the powertrain.

2015 Infiniti ESQ Crossover

The ESQ runs on the Juke NISMO’s exhilarating 197hp turbocharged four-cylinder engine paired with a performance-tuned CVT and optional all-wheel drive. With that, the ESQ boasts a 0-60 speed of 7.8 seconds and a top speed of 134mph. Meanwhile, the turbocharger helps the lux crossover maintain a cool 40mpg and keeps CO2 emissions around 159g/km… Not exactly Prius-level, but not too shabby either.

Infiniti ESQ Powertrain

As you may be able to detect in the above images, the Infiniti ESQ uses a fairly extensive body kit to achieve a more interesting, premium look, distinct from Nissan’s Juke NISMO. The ESQ gets an even sportier look than the Juke with a rear diffuser, a sport exhaust pipe, totally redesigned head- and taillights, plenty of chrome trim and a restyled mesh grille. Plus, Infiniti’s done a number of aerodynamic tweaks to boost fuel economy, and the ESQ rides on new 18-inch allows with plenty of ESQ badging all around the body.

Infiniti ESQ Interior

Inside, the changes are a little less dominant. The Infiniti ESQ loses the Juke NISMO’s Alcantara steering wheel and high-contrast color-scheme in favor of upscale leather seats with classy white stitching. The crossover retains all of the Juke’s tech. appointments, including the infotainment system, climate control and three variable driving modes.

The Infiniti ESQ will go on sale in China at the beginning of next month for between 200,000 and 300,000 Yuan, which for reference is about $32,000 to $49,000. However, word has it that the ESQ is only the first of many new offerings that Infiniti is readying for the Chinese market, including the Q50L and a possible new QX70, just to name a couple.


Nissan Increases Russian Presence with 2015 Datsun mi-DO

Posted by Stephen On Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

2015 Datsun mi-DO Hatchback outside

It’s no coincidence that Russia is the only market in the world where all three of Nissan’s brands are represented. Nissan, Infiniti and Datsun have all made their presence known over the past couple years, but Nissan and Datsun in particular appear to be getting extra emphasis. At this year’s Moscow Auto Show, otherwise known as Automechanika Moscow, the Japanese automaker showed Russian versions of their Sentra sedan and Pathfinder SUV, along with a brand-new product from Datsun.

Unfortunately, Nissan didn’t reveal any specific differences between the Russian and other global versions of their Sentra or Pathfinder, and without being there we have no way of finding the details for ourselves. So, as you continue reading you’re going to learn all about the only NEW car they showed – the Datsun mi-DO budget hatchback.

Introducing the Datsun mi-DO

2015 Datsun mi-DO Hatchback

In case it’s not obvious from the name, this is a companion car to the Datsun on-DO. The on-DO sedan was the first new debut for the revived Datsun brand, and is set to go on sale sometime next month. The mi-DO will likely go on sale at the beginning of 2015, although no specific launch date has been set.

2015 Datsun mi-DO Hatchback rear view

Given that Datsun is a budget brand and Nissan wants to keep manufacturing costs to a minimum, it shouldn’t come as too big of a surprise that both the mi-DO and on-DO share a great deal of both their design and mechanics. Both cars sit on the same chassis with the same 97.5 inch wheelbase (2,476mm) and 66.9 inch width (1,700mm). However, the mi-DO’s overall body length is a couple inches shorter, and there’s no doubt that the hatchback body displays a more refined version of Datsun’s still-growing signature style, including the D-Cut hexagonal grille.

In addition to sharing the same chassis as the on-DO, the 2015 Datsun mi-DO will also share the same engine offering. It’ll be a 1.6L V8 engine that outputs 87hp. However, the hatchback will also be available with an optional automatic four-speed transmission in place of the typical five-speed manual.

2015 Datsun mi-DO interior

Other standard features in the new Datsun mi-DO include dual front airbags, ABS, heated seats and door mirrors, which Nissan makes out to be a pretty big deal in Russia. Either way, we can’t fault them for being optimistic, even when they describe the new budget car as “a practical yet sporty five-door hatchback with a strong masculine appearance.”

All in all, we’re happy to see the Datsun brand coming back in force, and Nissan is too. With 25 dealerships already up and running – with 75 more on the way in the next couple years – Nissan and Datsun are well-primed to dominate the Russian market.


Nissan CEO Presents Datsun on-Do Sedan in Moscow, Russia

Posted by Stephen On Tuesday, April 15th, 2014

We already knew that Nissan was planning to break into the Russian market with its revived Datsun brand. Earlier this week, Nissan introduced the Datsun’s first-ever Russian-exclusive model – the Datsun on-Do sedan.

Datsun on-Do Sedan

The Datsun on-Do sedan was introduced at a presentation by Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn in Moscow. Interestingly enough, Russia will be the first-ever market to see all three Nissan brands at once – Nissan, Infiniti and Datsun. Fittingly, Ghosn expects Datsun to contribute to one third of all their sales as the brand strives to triple their Russian market share in just three years.

As for the on-Do itself, it’s not really intended to be anything fancy. It’s a budget-friendly, four-door five-seat sedan “with class-leading trunk capacity of 530L.” But, as you can see, it really doesn’t look bad at all. In fact, if you squint your eyes from certain angles, the mesh hexagonal grille almost makes the car look premium.

Moving beyond the grille, though, the super economic aesthetic becomes a little more noticeable. The sedan’s silhouette is largely generic, and its design reminds us of something akin to a Toyota Echo. He doesn’t have any fancy LEDs, or a sculpted front fascia or anything like that, and the wheels are rather small. Of course, this is all to be expected since the car is will only come in at 400,000 rubles, which is just a hair over $11,000 US.

As for the internal workings of the car, we know that it will feature a 1.6L four-cylinder engine with an underwhelming 87hp. This seems especially low since the engine is likely the same as that seen in the Nissan Versa or Nissan Micra, but tuned down from the other cars’ 109hp. If we had to guess, we’d say that this is probably to enhance the Datsun sedan’s fuel economy, which in turn puts the on-Do into Russia’s bottom tier tax bracket.

Perhaps the most interesting part of the new Datsun sedan is the name… on-Do may sound rather bland on the surface, but delving deeper into the different languages the car represents offers a more intriguing picture. “Do” is an extremely important word to the Japanese, representing a “consistent and distinctive way of doing things.” For Nissan, they want to present Datsun as the right way of doing things. The word “On” also has significance in the Russian language, as it means “he”. The end result is a name that evokes everything the Datsun on-Do stands for – it’s a car with “strength, performance and masculinity,” and it’s totally unprecedented in the Russian market.

As you’ll hear in the presentation video below, Carlos Ghosn offered his own estimates for the on-Do’s sales performance. He expects to hit 100,000 sales within two years after the sedan’s launch in September of this year. This will be accomplished through an initial network of 25 Datsun branded dealerships in key regions, with another 75 dealerships coming over the next two years.

All in all, Nissan is well-positioned to become the dominant Japanese titan in the Russian market, and we have no doubt that the Datsun on-Do will be pivotal in making that possible.


Datsun Teases New Budget Sedan for the Russian Market

Posted by Stephen On Saturday, March 15th, 2014

It’s not every day that we get to talk about Renault-Nissan’s newly revived, economic sub-brand of old: Datsun.

Just as a quick refresher course, Nissan is re-launching the Datsun brand to target emerging automotive markets. India, Indonesia and now Russia are all slated to get their own custom-designed Datsun vehicles. Russia, the newest addition to the list, will apparently get their very own exclusive. You can take a look at the initial sketch below:

Datsun Russia Sedan

As you can see, it’s a pretty unremarkable vehicle as far as aesthetics go. It doesn’t look bad, but it doesn’t look particularly great either. However, we can appreciate that it features a very clean aesthetic; if we had to choose between ‘clean and simple’ or ‘cluttered and over-the-top’, we’d certainly prefer the former.

So, what did Nissan/Datsun have to say about their new entry into the Russian market?  Naturally, they didn’t offer much in the way of specifics, but they did tell us that the concept “follows the brand’s common global philosophy of offering customers and engaging driving experience, peace of mind ownership and accessibility at the right and transparent price, with a competitive Total Cost of Ownership.”

In other words, Datsun wants to offer Russian drivers a car that does exactly what it says on the box.

The announcement offers more than just a new sedan for the rising Japanese automaker, though. In addition to the car itself, the announcement officially marks the launch of the new Datsun Russia website, www.datsun.ru. Interested individuals will be able to watch the new Datsun sedan’s official unveiling on April 4 via the website, and can enjoy a nicely stylized countdown until then.

If you’d like to get a more interesting look at the new, unnamed Datsun sedan, be sure to check out the catchy video sketch below

As we said, you can expect to see the Russian Datsun make its official debut at the beginning of next month. As far as pricing, you can expect the new sedan to fall in under 400,000 rubles (~$11,000), as Datsun has already stated their desire to target that segment of the Russian auto market.

The last time we heard anything about the budget-friendly automaker was at the beginning of the year when they unveiled their first-ever concept car since the brand’s revival – the Redi-GO Concept (pictured below).

Datsun Redi-GO Concept

As you can see, Datsun certainly has a ‘look’ that they’re sticking with, which makes sense since all of their cars are still being designed in Japan (even if they’re launched elsewhere). You can expect the Redi-GO hatchback to make it to production by the end of the year in India. Until then, stay tuned for more Datsun jewels… Even if you’re not going to be directly impacted by any of these cars for emerging markets, you can rest assured that Nissan will be taking lessons learned from Datsun and eventually applying them to their own lineup.


Here’s the New Datsun Go+ MPV to Launch Alongside the Go Hatchback

Posted by Stephen On Friday, September 20th, 2013

It seems that Datsun is officially here to stay, as just earlier this week Nissan’s most newly launched sub-brand debuted their second new car – the Datsun Go+ MPV.

It was at the very beginning of the 2012 that we first heard whispers of Nissan bringing back their economical marque, Datsun. Then, in July of this year we finally got our first peek at the Datsun Go hatchback.

For those of you who don’t know, the DAT-GO was the original Datsun vehicle from years and years ago. Appropriately, Datsun is rising from the dead with a vehicle named after the original. And now, the Go is getting a twin.  Without further ado, here is the brand new Datsun Go+ MPV:

Datsun GO+ MPV

As you can see, what we have here is a budget-friendly MPV which will nicely complement the smaller Go hatchback. The Go and Go+ are barebones vehicles that will launch in Indonesia, India, Russia and other “high-growth markets”, so you shouldn’t judge them by their parent brand’s more upmarket offerings. The Go twins are aimed at a very specific segment of customers who want “attractive styling, an accessible price and – above all – an engaging driving experience.” At least, that’s what the re-launched brand’s VP, Vincent Cobee, had to say.

Unfortunately, we still don’t know very much about the Go or the larger Go+ other than these images and the most minimal of powertrain information. What we know is that both vehicles will feature a 1.2L petrol engine and a five-speed standard transmission… And that’s it. But, if the video below is any indication, then they’re going to be REALLY fun to drive!

Obviously, we know that both vehicles will be available at a very economic price tag.  The figure we’ve heard thrown around is that Datsun wants to launch both vehicles below $8,700. We already knew that Nissan wanted to claim 10% of the market share in India, and it’s hoping that the Datsun Go and Go+ will help it get at least halfway there. In other words, they’re hoping that one out of every 20 MPVs or hatchbacks sold in India during 2014 will be a Datsun. Certainly a lofty goal, but not unattainable if the cars drive as well as the marketing material would have us believe.

Both vehicles will be available in their respective “high-growth markets” at the beginning of 2014 .  It seems likely that we’ll see production models at an auto show some time before then, but at the moment we really don’t know much more than that. We’ll keep you updated as the story unfolds, but until then, thanks for reading!


Renault-Nissan’s Datsun Coming Back to High-Growth Markets in 2014

Posted by Stephen On Saturday, February 23rd, 2013

Some of our more seasoned readers may remember back to a time when Datsun was Nissan’s go-to name for exports. Or perhaps you’ll recall the classic Datsun roadster. Datsun reigned as Nissan’s international marquee for over 30 years, all the way through the 70s as Nissan saw some of its most explosive growth in history.

It was a great time for Nissan. Everyone loved the old Datsun. After all, who can forget this …

Datsun 240Z emblem

But, for Nissan Datsun was a pet name that finally outgrew its appeal in 1981, when then-president Katsuji Kawamata made a business decision that would attempt to mirror the recent growth of Toyota. He decided that the Nissan marquee should be on every vehicle they manufactured, both local and international, in order to further develop international brand-strength.

Thus died Datsun. Or, so Kawamata thought.

Over 30 years later, apparently the Datsun marquee still evokes nostalgia for the now-massive Japanese automaker. Renault-Nissan is bringing it back.

Current Vice President of the Datsun Business Unit, Vincent Cobee, says, “The company is counting on the Datsun brand to once again resonate with consumers in high-growth markets who seek attractive styling, an accessible price and – above all – an engaging driving experience.”

Cobee went on to say that, “The Datsun brand remains in our portfolio as one of the most cherished brands in automotive history. And the connection between the Datsun of today and the Datsun of yesterday is authentic. Just as consumers in the 1930s, 40s and 50s wanted high quality, durable and reliable vehicles, potential customers in high-growth markets – who today have so few choices – are also eager for such vehicles.”

In case you’re wondering, the high-growth markets Nissan is first targeting with their revived Datsun marquee are India, Indonesia and Russia, all starting in 2014. We should see the first models from the new marquee sometime later this year.

As far as manufacture, the first Datsun plant will be built in India on a budget of 250 million euros. It will be able to sustain 200K vehicles per year, and should be fully functional by the end of the second quarter in 2014. The plant will then export vehicles to the other two initial high-growth markets. In fact, depending on how Datsun performs initially, the brand may eventually make its way further into Africa, Europe and the Middle East.

I, for one, can’t wait to see what this new-old marquee is going to bring to Nissan Motor Co. My guess is that we will see the first Datsun at the 2013 Paris Motor Show in September. Even though I’d like to see it sooner, that would be a great time to introduce a new car for the 2014 model year. But, of course that’s pure speculation on my part – That’s not part of the press release.

Either way, we already know that the first Datsun will be priced at only 5000 euros, which is certainly competitive. Nissan’s really hit their stride with European markets, so my guess is that Datsun is going to be a huge hit. What about you?

Sources: Nissan, The Truth About Cars