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Datsun on-DO Is Russia’s New Budget Sedan

After India’s GO hatch and GO+ mini MPV, Nissan’s reborn Datsun badge finds its way onto anther brand new car, this time one that’s been designed to appeal to Russian buyers. This is the on-Do, a model that’s only going to be available in this country and is going to be built at the Togliatti AVTOVAZ factory.
Datsun on-DO 12 photos
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Nissan says it was designed in Japan, but we think it’s a rebadged and facelifted Lada Kalina with a few new buttons from the Renault-Nissan cheap parts bin. But it could also be one of the most important new cars for less wealthy Russians and that’s because it’s priced from just 400,000 rubles, about €8,200.

Spec-wise, there’s nothing about the four-door sedan that jumps out from the pages. It’s quite small for its class at just 4337mm long, 1700mm wide and 1500mm tall. The boot is quite large though, at 530 liters, and access is done though a large trunk opening. The model will only be sold with one engine choice, a 1.6-liter naturally-aspirated gasoline engine developing 87 hp and mated to a 5-speed.

The car’s name is actually meant to have meaning in different languages. According to Nissan, ‘DO' is a word deeply embedded in the Japanese psyche, meaning ‘way', but can also mean ‘moving’. ‘On', meanwhile, is the Russian word for ‘he'. But both words also mean something in English.

Despite tensions with the west and declining sales from the Renault-Nissan alliance, CEO Carlos Ghosn was upbeat about Datsun’s future in Russia, saying he hopes to increase market share in coming years.

Nissan pulled the Datsun brand in 1981 but has announced plans for its revival last year, with sales targeting emerging markets like Indonesia, India, Russia and South Africa.

"Today, Russia is our company's 5th largest market in the world. In the next three years, we are aiming to triple our sales here – with the goal of doubling market share. And we expect the Datsun brand to contribute as much as one third of total sales. By drawing on our company's 80 years of manufacturing and technical expertise – and by leveraging the engineering skills, market knowledge, and production capabilities of our Alliance partner, AVTOVAZ – we will deliver a Datsun line-up for the 21st century. And these cars will be fully in touch with the needs and preferences of Russian drivers,” said Ghosn when introducing the brand.


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