July 15, 2014
Datsun’s Russia Roll Out Begins in Togliatti
July 14 – Togliatti, Russia – The first Datsun on-DO officially rolled off the production line Monday at AvtoVAZ’s historic Togliatti plant, a keystone event for the brand in the Russian car market.
Debuting in April in Moscow, the Datsun on-DO is a 4-door, 5-seat family sedan intended for first-time, new-car buyers in Russia’s growing market, as well as an alternative to domestic makes and used cars.
Media, plant workers and executives of Datsun and AvtoVAZ gathered at one of Europe’s biggest plants, where Datsun joins Alliance car production alongside Nissan, Renault and LADA brand models.
The 15-year Alliance provides a modern standard of quality, said Vincent Cobee, Datsun’s global head.
“The benefits of developing a car with AvtoVAZ here are many,” said Cobee. “This is the largest car plant in the world – 5km by 3km, a million-car capacity. This is also the best knowledge of the local Russian requirements.”
“What did we bring to this? We brought technical expertise; we brought quality processes; we brought manufacturing know-how. And we learned a lot about collaborating with AvtoVAZ. For Datsun, we learned a lot about how to make a car adapted to local roads, which would be at an affordable price, and which would also be very, very durable.”
Infused with Japanese craftsmanship through design, Datsun’s on-DO reflects the manufacturing spirit of monozukuri, and AvtoVAZ President Bo Andersson marked the symbolic moment in the cross-culture Alliance with a traditional kick-off gesture.
The on-DO is a modern sedan with a 1.6-liter engine, crossover-grade ground-clearance for Russian roads, and a spacious trunk, priced at about 329,000 rubles ($9,500).
Datsun Program Director Oleg Grunenkov says on-DO is the perfect car for the Russian market.
“The major idea of the Datsun — a global brand with local products,” said Grunenkov. “As of today, vehicles based on this platform are the leaders in the Russian market, and are the vehicles most suitable to weather and road conditions in Russia.”
“It has a very big trunk and a spacious interior, even when five people ride in the car, they can feel quite comfortable, making it competitive with cars of higher classes. When we were developing this car, a lot of attention was paid to suspension. Actually, we worked together in the Alliance to make the car suitable to be driven in Russia.”
The production start follows Datsun’s June launch of the GO compact in South Africa, and milestones in India and Indonesia earlier this year.
Pre-orders for on-DO start later this month at 25 Russian Datsun dealerships, with deliveries at the of end of summer.