Return of Datsun?

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There is a rumor about Nissan thinking of using the old Datsun name in the US again.
It would be for a new range of “funky” cars to compete with the Scion brand.

I am not sure which Nissan model they could sell over here as a Datsun, but the next Cube would be a sweet idea.

Is that a good move?
Would you get a Datsun?

Conversation 28 comments

  1. College student here who these vehicles are aimed at. Unless Datson came up with an answer to the TC, not quite sure if I would look twice at it. I think the Cube, like the XB, looks like a clown mobile!

  2. BAD IDEA. Scions target audience wasnt even alive yet to know what a datsun was. Hell im 24 and i barely remember them. So if the target audience doesnt know the datsun name why bring it back? Best to start off with something new and fresh no?

  3. EEE, Gods! Younguns who hardly or don’t remember Datsuns. Why did Nissan bother calling Nissans Datsuns in the first place?

    Let’s bring back Studebaker, Hudson, Nash, Kaiser, Frazer, Crosley and Packard.

    Nostalgia isn’t what it used to be;-).

  4. apparently datsuns werent that great, and have a reputation for being cheap cars, but ive never seen a new one before and i think youth might not know what they are, so it might be good, but then again, why not think up a new name like toyota did with scion? or are they trying to get the youung ppl, and turn off the old ppl who have the idea datsun sucks?

  5. Look at that sun!

    I want that, son!

    oh boy, doesn’t anybody at Nissan remember all the corny jokes people came up with “Datsun”.

    It’ll be a disaster with that name. Start from scratch, unless you plan on selling the old Z replicas.

  6. Does anyone here knows about these amazing MPG numbers in 70’s ads???

    I always wondered if they changde the way they measure it, or if engines have gotten that much thirstier…
    I mean here they claim 37 in the city and 50 on the highway.
    These are close to hybrid numbers…

  7. I’m 36 and I barely remember the name “Datsun” before the years that they transitioned the brand over to Nissan. And of the Datsuns I remember, it still doesn’t elicit a positive brand association. I guess that there is a historical significance that might be interesting to a younger customer. Also, it’s at least a lot less contrived of a name than “Scion.”

  8. I’m not sure if they changed the MPG methodology at the EPA, but I think the federal safety and emissions mandates are the main reason why fuel efficiency seems stagnant.

    Also, engineers have applied their technology gains towards greater power rather than better efficiency. It’s what the US market demands.

  9. I’m 32 and I remember Datsun pretty well, as well as the early Nissans (remember they still had the “Datsun” badge on the side during the transition years?).

    Those MPG numbers probably were a bit inflated, but there is no doubt that we haven’t made MPG progress and that advances have, with cheap gas, been aimed at power and refinement. I remember my father’s ’82 Nissan Stanza midsized 4 cylinder manual easily pushing (and sometimes exceeding) 40 MPG in combined driving.

  10. Nissan should shut up about that name before we start remembering how bad their datsuns were and how cheap they looked.

    There are still jokes running in my family about the time my grand father bought an ugly yellow datsun.

    No this name should stay where it is now… 6 feet under.

    It sounds old and dated anyway.

  11. This is like if Hyundai was bringing back to the market their 80’s names : Pony, stellar, excel, etc.

  12. AHHHHHHH!!! What fond memories I Still have when I think of all the good times I had in the back of my Datsun Honey Bee!!!! It was a babe magnet because all the pretty young girls thought it was SOOOOO CUTE!!! Nissan is definately on to something here!!! Who knows, if they make new small cute cars again like they did in the early 70’s the summers of ‘FREE LOVE’ may finally return!!!!

  13. The first car I bought in the summer of 1983 was a barely used 1981 200SX that had badges saying Datsun by Nissan. It was a somewhat stylish, highly optioned car with bulletproof reliability, and was a huge improvement over the previous generation. Many 100 mph dashes were made to and from the dorm to home on weekends. You know, to eat and do laundry.

    But as for bringing the name back, I don’t see the point. I also don’t understand the fickle market of today’s spoiled youth, so who knows.

  14. Depends how it’s marketed. If young people will get into New Beetles and have no real memory of the Käfer, then I suppose they would get into a Datsun. Then again, no Datsun was thought of as fondly as the Bug—with maybe the exception of the Z cars and the pre-Z Datsun sports. Overall, I think it’s a rotten idea.

  15. Does anybody here even have a Scion or driven in one? I do. I have an xB and it IS a cheap car thats good on gas. Thats why I got one. If the younger generation doesn’t remember the Datsun name, whats wrong with bringing that name back? In my opinion, it would be a smart move on Nissans part. Scion is selling a lot of cheaper cars stealing profit from the other companies. Honda recently joined in the cheap car fun with the Fit. Nissan needs to do something as well.

  16. Does anybody here even have a Scion or driven in one?

    Yep. It’s a nice little car with good performance, economy, utility, and reliablilty. Typical of Toyota.

  17. Man, that brings me back… My mom got a new 1978 B210 when I was 3, and it went 190K+ miles before it finally rusted away. They were pretty low-end cars, and except for the rust problem, held up pretty well.

    The reason they got such great mileage was because the weighed just over 2000LB, and had 80 horses. No power anything, no AC… Not exactly a fun car to drive; not sure why Nissan would want to revive a brand that nobody under 30 remembers, and those who do, consider it the Kia of its day.

  18. The only reason Nissan is not way out in front of Toyota is because they changed the name.It confused everyone and they started over from 0. When they were Datsun they were #1. It is regarded in business textbooks as the biggest blunder in business history.

  19. I had three Datsuns back in their day. The last, an ’82 Sentra, weighed less than 2000 and got teriffic mileage. No air and minimal power steering. I’ve loved little cars since then and drive an xA now, actually a heavier car.

  20. You are 100% right autohistory, Nissan would never have relinquished the #1 crown had they not changed their name. In my humble opinion, Nissan builds far better product than Toyota!!!!!

  21. did you view the marketing content?? the young are the HARDEST segment of the population to market to – that’s why all these companies (like Scion and others) are trying so hard to make their products appeal to young consumers.

    as for the fuel economy question, my guess is that older cars did get very good fuel economy, but that’s cuz they were a hell of a lot lighter and slower than today’s cars. government demands air bags and crash safety, and customers demand more electronics and more power.

  22. Many years ago when Datsuns were popular, there was one with the DATSUN name badge above the license plate which on one car read: ICE CAR.

    For those who wondered what a license plate, “ICE CAR” was supposed to mean, it was clear to people who read the car’s name badge along with the plate which altogether said: “Datsun Ice Car.”

  23. why not? look at mini. hardly anyone here in the states remembers the original mini and bimmer did great bringing back the name. of course the name is nothing unless the vehicle is cool and priced-right. toyota did well with scion. on the other hand, ford didn’t do great with the thunderbird.

  24. GREAT article about Datsun on BravoTV. Apparently the guy who writes these is a Nissan Designer. I love it.

  25. GREAT article about Datsun on BravoTV. Apparently the guy who writes these is a Nissan Designer. I love it.

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