Nissan: Datsun DNA

ZAMA, Japan – With just a few days to go until the new Datsun’s World Premiere in India, brand chief Vincent Cobee explains the link between the marque’s storied past and bright future.

On location at Nissan’s DNA garage in Zama, Japan, Cobee explains how the values that made the marque a success decades ago are just as relevant today.

Vincent Cobee, Global Head of Datsun:

We have the great pleasure of being in the Zama heritage museum, which as you can imagine, for us in Datsun is an amazing place to gauge the breadth of the Datsun history.

I would really advise each and every one of you to come and see it because until you see it, you can’t imagine it. What does it mean to us, The Datsun of tomorrow?

It means obviously a passion for great engineering. It means a passion for local cars accompanying people who are on the rise, becoming successful in their own countries. That’s what Datsun was in the ’30s and in the ’50s.

And that’s what the Datsun of tomorrow will be in India, Indonesia, Russia, South Africa and many other countries from 2014. So there is a great link in terms of the relationship between passionate engineering and people on the move in their respective countries.

Very core to Datsun is the meaning of DAT. I guess most of you know that Datsun was originally coming from a car called DAT.

At that very early point in time, DAT were the initials of the three financiers who backed the development of that car: Den, Aoyama and Takeuchi.

Very rapidly, from 1933-34, DAT was presented as standing for Durable, Attractive and Trustworthy. These marketing mottoes have been used throughout the ’30s, ’40s, ’50s, up to the early ’60s.

For the Datsun of tomorrow, we decided to again promote the Datsuns along the principles of DAT. The new DAT stands for Dream, Access and Trust.

Dream, access and trust, for us, are the levels of the customer’s journey. When you buy a new car in countries like India, Indonesia, Russia, South Africa, first you do it because you dream, you live a new moment in your life.

You finally access the ability to dream. In order to realize your dream, you need to access; you need to be able to belong. And underlying this, because this is a massive commitment, you will invest in this car a very substantial part of your disposable income; you need to trust.

So the Datsun brand will bring Dream, Access and Trust, to those growing markets.

If you want to replicate these values, first you need to believe them and you need to align with them. I always say that, to me, a branding exercise is about purity, you need to be extremely clear, strong but also clear about what you do.

The second thing is consistency. When you want to promote dream, access and trust, when you want to be a brand made on straightforwardness, modernity and robustness and celebration, then these have to be your guiding principles from the beginning to the end.

The third thing is what I call linkage, which means the way that you approach a customer, the way you receive a customer, the way you sell a car, the way you maintain a car, the way you entertain a customer during the life of the ownership of that car. This needs to be connected, consistent, and they need to be aligned with the brand.

The Datsun World Premiere will be streamed live on July 15, Monday, at 1200 India Standard Time/1530 Japan Standard Time/0630 GMT. Join us at