Datsun India is putting its best foot forward on its journey to establish itself as a name in the Indian car market. Just yesterday it commenced the production of the Datsun G0, its low cost hatchback and today the first production-readied car was rolled out from the Renault-Nissan factory at Oragadam, Chennai. The event was attended by P Thangamani, honourable minister for industries, Government of Tamil Nadu and Masanori Nakano, honourable consul general of Japan, among others.
While Nissan Motor's Global design centre in Japan was responsible for the Datsun GO's styling, R&D and engineering development for the project were entrusted to local engineering resources and suppliers to ensure the product would suit local market conditions, preferences, tastes and needs, and would be accessible in terms of price and supply.
The factory at Oragadam is the first factory in the world to start the production of the new generation of Datsun models. Other markets such as Indonesia and Russia will begin production late this year. In India as of now their strategy is to concentrate on localisation.
The Datsun GO along with the GO+ MPV will be shown at the Auto Expo this week. They will also bring along a concept car. The GO is the first car for this century, from the Japanese carmaker and is set for launch in India during March 2014, with deliveries following soon after. The company, however, will officially start taking bookings from this month. The officials also revealed that they will be launching another product by the end of the year and bring in another one in three years time.
The car is a five-door hatchback and looks like a cross between the Nissan Micra hatchback and the Skoda Fabia. It is powered by the 1.2-litre petrol mill that sits in the Micra and produces 76bhp and 104Nm of torque. Power is transmitted to the front wheels via a five-speed manual gearbox.
With comparatively compact body dimensions (width – 1,635mm; height – 1,485mm; length– 3,785mm), the car is spacious inside thanks to a wide stance and large wheelbase (2,450mm), and offers ample headroom and an expanded front seating configuration.
The brand has much to look forward to in this market. Speaking at the event, Toshiyuki Shiga, Vice-chairman, Nissan said, " This is a landmark day for all of us at Nissan. It represents the culmination of several years of extreme hard work to return the Datsun brand to the market."