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Datsun Ready for Russia after Moscow Debut

April 4 – Moscow – Russia welcomed the Datsun on-DO sedan to the local market Friday, a debut also for the iconic brand in the country.

Nissan Motor CEO Carlos Ghosn said Russia is the first country in the region where all three company brands – Datsun, Nissan and Infiniti – will be sold, and expectations are high.

“We’re going to have up to three products launched in Russia and I would say within two years following the launch of Datsun – the sales will start probably in August-September, then the next two years we should hit 100,000 sales, which is going to contribute to position Nissan as the largest Japanese company contributing to development of the Russian market,” he said.

“I am very optimistic about it.”

Russia is Nissan’s 5th largest global market, and sales of the the 4-door, 5-seat, 1.6-liter engine on-DO will begin in summer, aimed at a new generation of car buyers.

Datsun chief Vincent Cobee says an initial network of 25 fully-branded dealerships is planned, with another 75 outlets joining ahead.

“We launched in India two weeks ago, and we are going to launch in Indonesia in a month and a half, so Russia is the next big thing ,” said the Global Head of Datsun.

“Car ownership is substantial, but still has a lot of potential, especially outside of the big cities.”

The styling of the on-DO was completed in Japan, while development, engineering and manufacturing are in Russia’s own “Motor City”, Togliatti, home to top automaker AVTOVAZ, which produces  a number of cars for the Renault-Nissan Alliance.

Bo Andersson, president of AVTOVAZ, says Datsun’s Russia debut should find immediate traction in a very competitive market.

“First, it’s an extremely demanding market, secondly, what I see with Russian consumers are always looking for something new that is interesting and hot, and what I see is a great opportunity for Datsun,” Andersson said.

Datsun is seen greatly contributing to the Alliance target with AVTOVAZ of a 40% Russian market share, as more up-and-coming customers in the giant country use growing buying power to break through into life – and road – mobility with Datsun.

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