There seems to have been a long-standing “official” corporation bias in Japan against the usage of the name “Datsun.” Kawamata, a Nissan veteran who was in the final year of his presidency at the time, was a significant figure with more than 20 years of experience there. In part as a result of his management of the crucial Nissan workers’ strike, which started on May 25, 1953, and lasted over 100 days, he rose to become its head in 1957. When he was president, Kawamata claimed he would “regretted that, unlike Toyota, his company did not brand its name on cars. In retrospect, he says, “We wish we had started using Nissan on all of our automobiles.” But when we started exporting, people just called the automobiles Datsun.”
In order to reinforce the business name Nissan, it was ultimately decided to stop using the brand name Datsun everywhere.
“The decision to rename Nissan from Datsun in the United States was made in the fall of 1981 (September/October). The justification for the name change was that it would facilitate the pursuit of a worldwide strategy. The possibilities of using marketing initiatives, brochures, and other promotional materials internationally would rise with the adoption of a single name, and product design and production would be made easier. Additionally, when visiting other nations, potential customers would come in contact with the brand and the goods. However, industry experts hypothesized that the primary driving force behind the name change was Nissan’s desire to increase its ability to sell stocks and bonds in the United States. They also assumed a significant amount of ego involvement because Nissan officials who had watched Toyota and Honda become household names were doubtless miffed by the lack of the Nissan name in the United States.”
The name change campaign ultimately lasted for three years, from 1982 to 1984; however, in some export markets, vehicles continued to wear both the Datsun and Nissan badges until 1986. Datsun badged vehicles had gradually been fitted with small “Nissan” and “Datsun by Nissan” badges from the late 1970s onward, until the Nissan name was given prominence in 1983. In the United Kingdom, for instance, Datsun continued to be used as the manufacturer’s name from 1982 to 1984 while Nissan was initially used as a prefix to the model name (e.g., Datsun-Nissan Micra). The Nissan Stanza and Nissan Sentra were new models for 1982 in the United States, while the Datsun name continued to be used on older vehicles through 1983, including the confusingly named Datsun Maxima, which like the Stanza and Sentra was a new model for 1982 but was actually a renamed Datsun 810. Nissan’s final tangible link to its Datsun era will be the Maxima and Z, which will continue to be produced in North America starting in 2021.
Nissan had spent perhaps in the neighborhood of $500 million on the name change. Operational expenses totaled $30 million and included updating the signage at 1,100 Datsun dealerships. Another $200 million was spent on advertising campaigns from 1982 to 1986, during which the “The Name is Nissan” campaign triumphed over the “Datsun, We Are Driven!” campaign, which had been launched in late 1977 in response to the 1973 oil crisis and the ensuing 1979 energy crisis (the latter campaign was used for some years beyond 1985). $50 million more was spent on Datsun advertising that were purchased but never aired. Datsun continued to be more well-known than Nissan five years after the name change initiative was completed.
Recall Datsun? It’s Resurfacing From the Rubbish Piles
You likely know about Datsun if you loved or were a car enthusiast in the 1960s and 1970s. A new generation of shoppers from other countries will also soon be aware of it.
Doesn’t seem familiar. Datsun existed prior to Toyota, of course. Its first automobiles were put up for sale in Japan in 1931, five years ahead of Toyota.
Up until Nissan Motor Company, the owner of Datsun, controversially dropped the Datsun brand in favor of its own in 1986, the company was a significant player in the worldwide auto industry.
Nissan announced on Tuesday that it would resurrect the Datsun brand for a series of affordable small cars that would be offered for sale in Russia, India, and Indonesia. Carlos Ghosn, the CEO of Nissan/Renault, made the news while on a visit to Jakarta. Along with Nissan and Infiniti, Ghosn wants Datsun to become Nissan’s third international brand.
Nissan can probably avoid the problems it ran into in the US when Datsun was kicked out in 1981 by sticking to new models for emerging countries.
One of the most noteworthy branding decisions in the history of the auto industry was Nissan’s choice to rename Datsun to Nissan. Datsun had been selling cars in the United States since 1958, when Nissan dispatched two executives to aid in increasing sales and brand recognition.
Like Toyota, Datsun started off slowly but acquired popularity thanks to the Z sports car, currently regarded as a classic, and the fuel-efficient B-210 small (marketed as the Bluebird internationally). Steve Wozniak, a co-founder of Apple, was one of its prominent supporters and even made an appearance in a Datsun ad.
Therefore, when the corporation started the process of changing its American dealerships and badges to Nissan, many owners were taken aback. It was a well-known brand in Japan, where its parent business was a major player in the industry.
However, Nissan was not well-known in the United States, and the change caused a great deal of confusion among American automobile buyers. It took time for Americans to get used to saying Nissan. According to several analysts, the decision likely cost Nissan crucial time in its battle with Toyota and Honda.
There are now no plans to sell the new Datsuns in the United States, but that may change depending on how well they perform in the European and UK markets.
Even if he (and the automobiles) won’t look like this, The Woz is still alive and well to star in another commercial.
According to reports, Nissan would no longer use the Datsun brand name in developing markets.
The cars and trucks Nissan displayed at the 1959 Los Angeles Auto Show when it first entered North America in 1958 were known as Datsuns. And this branding persisted for them until 1983.
In fact, the Datsun brand was the foundation for the company’s very survival in this continent. The Datsun 1600 Roadster, the Datsun 510 sedan, the now-famous Datsun 240Z, and the original Datsun King Cab compact pickup truck were among the models that helped establish the popularity of Japanese automobiles in North America as well as their reputation for performance and dependability.
Instead of Toyota, Honda, or Volkswagen, Datsun was the most popular import brand in the US in 1975.
The business then stated that the Datsun brand name would be changed to Nissan in the fall of 1981, purportedly as part of a global marketing strategy. It took a long time, cost a lot of money, and caused a lot of market turmoil before it was finally finished in 1986.
The Datsun brand was revived by the business in 2012, but only for a few entry-level models that were offered in emerging regions like Indonesia, Nepal, South Africa, India, and Russia.
In reaction to persistent financial challenges made worse by the Covid-19 outbreak, Nissan is now preparing to phase out the Datsun brand once more, according to an article in Automotive News Europe. The story stated that the plans still need to be evaluated by Nissan’s board and could possibly alter.
The beginning of Datsun and the name’s genesis
The DAT was developed by Kwaishinsha Jidosha Kojo, which was established in 1911 by M. Hashimoto and is where the word “Datsun” originated. His goal was to build cars that would work in Japan and, ideally, export them. When he finished building a tiny 10-horsepower car in 1914, he gave it the name “DAT” by using the first initials of the surnames of his three investors: K. Den, R. Aoyama, and M. Takeuchi.
Later, the Jitsuyo Jidosha Co., Ltd. and Kwaishinsha amalgamated to become the Dat Jidosha Seizo Co. The business continued to make military vehicles, but in 1931 it created a brand-new civilian automobile (500cc, 10ps) that reflected the DAT philosophy. The name DATSON, which means “Son of DAT,” was given to it because it was more compact than the original DAT. When the car went on sale in March 1932, the name was altered from son—which in Japanese means “loss”—to “SUN,” which conjures up images of brightness.
Nissan revives the Datsun brand with the Go vehicle.
Today, Nissan formally brought the Datsun brand back to life after nearly three decades in obscurity.
Before 1984, when Nissan replaced Datsun as the company’s primary automobile brand in the United States (and everywhere by 1986).
Nissan will now, at least initially, utilize the Datsun moniker for a series of low-cost vehicles in emerging regions. The Nissan and Infiniti brands continue to be superior to Datsun.
The new Datsun Go sedan, which was launched in Delhi, India on Monday, was the first new vehicle to feature the once-familiar Datsun brand and circular logo since then. The automobile was unveiled by Carlos Ghosn, CEO of Nissan and partner Renault.
The tiny front-drive GO hatchback was created locally and in Japan, and it will be produced at the Renault-Nissan Alliance plant in Oragadam, India. It will go on sale in India at the beginning of the following year for less than 400,000 rupees, or around $6,600, according to the manufacturer. It had a five-speed stick transmission and a 1.2-liter three-cylinder engine.
Datsun will create further entry-level vehicles in the future for areas like Indonesia, South Africa, and Russia.
At American vehicle exhibitions earlier this year, Nissan representatives stated that no Datsuns will be sold in the United States. Period.
The sporty Datsun 510 sedan and 240Z coupe that established the brand in the United States in the late 1960s and early 1970s are not likely to be represented by the Datsuns that will be marketed worldwide. However, they may expand the company’s clientele in expanding markets without tarnishing the Nissan name.
“This is a historic day for Nissan Motor Company as well as for our clients and business associates in some of the markets that are expanding the quickest. It’s also an exciting time for many Indian women and men who have today moved closer to achieving their ambition of owning a car “In revealing the vehicle, Ghosn stated.
The 12-and-a-half-foot-long, five-door, front-wheel-drive hatchback will have a 1.2-liter engine mated with a five-speed manual transmission that Nissan claims provides the best response time and agility in crowded traffic. According to Nissan, the moniker Go is intended to symbolize the aspirations of the expanding middle class in India. As a result, the little car has a docking station for smartphones that enables access to music and photo storage.
According to Nissan, the new vehicle’s moniker was motivated by the DAT-GO, the brand’s debut automobile from Japan in 1914. In the 1930s, Nissan Heavy Industries acquired the business.
The company’s choice to shed the Datsun brand name in the 1980s was an extremely costly endeavor that at the time received harsh criticism from American marketing professionals. Nissan, a brand that was then unknown, was being used in place of a well-known household name by the firm. The Datsun moniker continued to be more well-known than Nissan for many years after it was deleted in marketing surveys.