Mark Jones
Road Test Editor
3 minute read
16 Apr 2014
8:00 am

Datsun working hard to build trust with consumers

Mark Jones

In what was the last of our overseas trips on our journey to reintroduce the Datsun brand into South Africa, we not only got to attend the world premiere of the Datsun on-DO sedan in Russia, we also most importantly got an introduction as to how our Datsun showrooms should look and operate when the cars hit SA in the last quarter of this year.

Just remember: the on-DO sedan is for the Russian and North African market only as this car is left hand drive. We will initially be getting the Go compact hatch also shown here that is sourced from India. Other models are to follow in the coming years as Datsun runs the brand out into the various markets.

This unveiling of the on-DO marks the first time ever that the Datsun brand has been marketed in Russia and it arrives exactly one hundred years after the first DAT car was created in Japan.

“In markets where Datsun has been introduced so far, the brand represents modern, attractive, practical and reliable new cars as symbols of freedom and of a newly-found status. The Datsun models are new, no-compromise designs that bring modern levels of engineering, styling and ability within the reach of a new generation of car buyers,” said Vincent Cobee, Corporate vice president and Global Head of Datsun.

“We have thoroughly researched our customers’ needs and aspirations and worked hard to develop cars that are well adapted to the local environment in each market where they will be offered. The result is Datsun models which will bring a refreshing combination of accessible, reliable and enjoyable car ownership attributes to a new generation of up-and-coming customers, whom we call ‘risers’,” concluded Cobee.


But this in my humble opinion is the easy part. You engineer and build a car in a manufacturing plant. People can see it and touch it and understand what it offers in terms of physical attributes. The big job is getting them to trust the brand, trust what you are saying is true when it comes to finance and insurance.

Datsun have some big plans for the South African market to address these issues and they are currently working closely with the finance houses and insurance companies to ensure they offer the client the best package available in an easy to understand format. We will be bringing you more details on these ventures and offers as they become available.


The visual identity for Datsun is a global initiative, so wherever you go in one of the four markets that Datsun is being introduced into, India, Philippines, Russia and South Africa, the exterior will present the same image for the brand.

Moving inside the dealership is where the Datsun promise will be realised by Datsun’s young customer. The interior of the showroom will flow naturally from the exterior design, continuing with the clean and fresh use of the Datsun blue and white colour scheme.

The circular hub is where the Datsun first time car buyer will be attracted to on entering the showroom. This central hub is where the customer meets and experiences the Datsun brand. Datsun is hoping that this experience will be more than just seeing a great car.

Datsun-on-DO (2)

Purchasing a brand new car for the first time is something that each person deserves to not only experience, but remember and share with family and friends for years to come. Datsun aims to make this experience a reality by using the appointment of young new and vibrant salespersons who speak the same language as the customer.

The plan is for a new and unique purchase experience and opening new opportunities for first time car buyers. Datsun customers will enjoy a dignified interaction and will be treated with the respect and importance that any new car buyer would expect.

On discussing the roll out of the Datsun dealer process in SA, Des Fenner, Datsun General Manager commented, “You will be able to experience the Datsun product with innovative sales personnel and techniques in a separate brand showroom experience alongside an established Nissan dealership.

Dealer Interior

“You will also have the tried and tested Nissan dealers throughout the country providing you with renowned after sales parts and service support, while we plan to have a minimum of 40 Datsun dealer showrooms in place before the end of the year.”

Dealer Exterior