Datsun Go-Cross

Datsun unveils new Go-Cross concept: is it a Dacia Duster buster?

Datsun Go-CrossFast-growing value brand Datsun has unveiled an all-new concept car in Japan called the Go-Cross – suggesting it is planning to launch a car to take on the ultra-successful Dacia Duster.

The stylish Go-Cross is easily the firm’s most appealing-looking car yet, with a high-set stance, chunky body and plentiful neat styling features.

By revealing it’s derived from the platform of the Datsun Go+ already in production, chief designer Vincent Cobee has already hinted that Datsun plans to put the Go-Cross into production. It may even be called Go-Cross.

It will be the natural next step for the ambitious Datsun brand that was relaunched just 18 months ago – but which has already sold 114,000 cars in the four markets it’s currently sold in.

India, Indonesia, Russia and South Africa are already receiving Datsun cars, which are engineered from Renault and Nissan mechanicals (the brand’s part of the Renault-Nissan Alliance).

Its growth has already been rapid, growing from zero to 420 dealers: now, chief Carlos Ghosn wants to see Datsun step up another gear, firstly by expanding into markets local to the ones it’s already represented in. The rest of Africa, for example.

Datsun was launched, said Cobee, because the existing markets of Japan, Western Europe, Korea and North America, are not really growing any more. But the overall new car market is still set to double from 2000 by 2020, from 50 million units to 100 million, thanks to the input of emerging markets keen to own a car for the first time.

It is to serve these customers the Datsun brand was revived for – and the potential growth of it means there’s now a pressing need to roll out new models in response to the demands of its quickly-expanding customer base.

We can thus expect to see a production version of the Datsun Go-Cross very soon, perhaps within the next year.

Question is, will it be a company that comes to Europe to offer a value-brand alternative to Dacia? Logic would suggest so, but remember: Dacia is also part of the Renault-Nissan Alliance.

Besides, with 50 million customers in the rest of the world to go for, the prospect of a Duster bust-up with the Go-Cross may not be top of the firm’s priority list…

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