Nissan relaunches Datsun in India

Nissan hopes Datsun will fuel growth in emerging markets.

NEW DELHI — Nissan launched a new Datsun in India on Monday, three decades after shelving the brand that helped win Western acceptance of Japanese autos.

The company hopes that bringing back the brand that built its U.S. business will fuel growth in emerging markets with a new generation of car buyers.

The reimagined Datsun – a five-seat hatchback – will go on sale in India next year for under 400,000 rupees (about $6,670). It will also be sold in Indonesia and Russia, with the company saying its offerings will be tailored to each market in terms of price and size.

In India, the English-language promotional Web site for the car describes it as the “badge of the risers,” an appeal to aspirational first-time auto buyers.

“The drivetrain is designed specifically to suit the local environment, eliminating any stress or complexity for the risers to go forth,” the Web site says.

Nissan Motor Co. is hoping the comeback of one of its defining brands will herald the same rapid expansion that the Datsun provided when it hit American showrooms more than 50 years ago.

The Datsun was discontinued globally starting in 1981 to unify the model lineup under the Nissan brand.

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