Nissan to sell Datsun cars in South Africa from next year

TOKYO Sun Feb 24, 2013 9:15pm EST

TOKYO Feb 25 (Reuters) - Nissan Motor Co will start selling its Datsun brand passenger vehicles in South Africa next year, the Japanese automaker said on Monday, as it aims to grab more first-time buyers in emerging markets with entry-level cars.

South Africa will be among four countries in which Nissan plans to revive the Datsun, a well known brand in several markets that the company dropped in 1981. Nissan also plans to sell Datsun vehicles in Indonesia, India and Russia from 2014.

The Datsun passenger vehicle that Nissan plans to sell will be priced at 1 million yen ($10,700) or less in South Africa, Nissan spokeswoman Noriko Yoneyama said.

Nissan has not decided where it will produce the vehicle, she said.

Nissan said last year that it plans to bring back its 80-year-old Datsun nameplate for entry-level cars in low-income markets, as it seeks to grab an 8 percent share of the global vehicle market by March 2017.

Nissan has said it plans to spend more than 1 billion rand ($113 million) to double its annual production capacity in South Africa by 2016. In 2012, it produced about 44,000 vehicles and sold about 50,000 vehicles in the country. ($1 = 93.2200 Japanese yen) ($1 = 8.8733 South African rand) (Reporting by Yoko Kubota; Editing by Chris Gallagher)

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