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Datsun on-DO production expands nameplate to Russia

The revival of the Datsun name continues as the brand expands into Russia with production beginning on the on-DO family sedan.

By and large, we Americans have fond, positive memories of the Datsun brand, which had a long run here as the affordable small car from Japan. Although Datsun is gone here, and indeed in most of the world, it's recently been revived in certain emerging markets like India. Now, it's being introduced again in Russia, with the introduction of the Datsun on-DO family sedan.

This small sedan, in the tradition of the B210 and similar models from the 1970s, is a compact, task-oriented vehicle meant specifically for the market it's being sold to. The car is being built as part of the Renault-Nissan Alliance and their partnership with AVTOVAZ in Russia. The first of the cars left the production line this week and pre-orders are being taken there now, with deliveries expected in August.

During a ceremony to commemorate the first on-DO coming off the line, Vincent Cobee, global head of Datsun and member of the AVTOVAZ Board of Directors, said: "Today our plans have become reality. The start of Datsun on-DO production here at the AVTOVAZ plant in Togliatti is the pinnacle of the Datsun project in Russia and the result of months of collaboration and hard work. Datsun is coming to make the dream of purchasing a foreign car for the first time a reality for our Russian customers. Our brand provides access to worry-free ownership experience as well as trust by ensuring product reliability and transparency in services provided. The Datsun on-DO is a new choice for up-and-coming aspirational customers in Russia looking for new, high-quality, modern cars from a Japanese brand. I am confident that Datsun on-DO will be a success, and I would like to thank our partner, AVTOVAZ, for the effort that has made this day possible."

The on-DO was engineered specifically to cope with the unique road and traffic conditions common in Russia. Pricing starts at about 329,000 Roubles ($11,100 USD).