March 26th Weekly Open Thread: The Return of Datsun
Nissan recently announced that it was resurrecting the old Datsun nameplate after 20-some years in the dustbin of history. See this Reuter's story, for example. As of now, they're only planning on using the Datsun name for low-cost vehicles in some non-US markets such as India and Russia.
I remember at the time they dumped the Datsun name that there was a decent amount of controversy over the decision (they were selling both "Nissan" and "Datsun" branded vehicles). One can see the practical side of it from Nissan's point of view: They could consolidate advertising materials across the entire brand and across borders where one or the other was being sold, even though changing a lot of Datsun-related paraphernalia (such as dealership signs) was no doubt a significant cost. OTOH, quite a few pundits thought it was a needless change that got them away from a brand name that was well-respected. The widely-acclaimed 240Z was, of course, a "Datsun". Frankly, I'm not sure what sort of reputation "Datsun" had back in the day, whether it was on par with Toyota and Honda in terms of quality, reliability, etc., although I think they may have been, overall, a bit goofier looking.
So, here is the space to voice your opinion: Should they leave Datsun where it lies? Bring it back to the US, too, maybe like Toyota/Lexus or Honda/Acura (admittedly, they already have Infiniti)? Or is "Datsun" in the US forever linked to "reliable and efficient but still small and goofy"? It is yours to decide.
As always, feel free to discuss whatever y'all want as well.
Photo is courtesy of our own Chuck Lynch.