Coming soon

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The very first imports of the brand are thought to have arrived in mid 1968, but it wasn’t until the display of 6 cars at the 1968 Motorshow that sales start to take off. During this time, Datsun were the 2nd biggest car producer (after Toyota) in Japan. The Japanese car industry had been expanding at a collosal rate, so it was inevitable that the cars would reach Europe. An offical dealer franchise, with facilities and servicing across the UK was set up, aimed mostly at small family run businesses usually in smaller towns, who had existing facilities. The prospective dealers would examine and scrutinize the cars, and sure enough the quality and virtues were evident to persuade dealers to invest in the brand. The newly set up Datsun-Nissan import consessionaire would vet their facilities, and and seek good workshop facilities and a long established dealers of high reputation to ensure suitability but it would be safe to assume that the cars did not fly out of the showrooms, as there still would have been a level of scepticism of the unheard of product from Japan. However, those customers who did invest in the first batch of cars, usually living within the locality of the garage with a level of personal relationship to the garage owners, were surprised by the level of quality, engineering and equipment offered in the cars. Octav Botnar, previously an importer of NSU cars with no business experience, set up Nissan-Datsun, to manage the importation and distribution of the cars into the UK, and for a period in the late 60’s shared facilities and the Shoreham-on-sea building with NSU, essentially a sub-tenant of NSU. In 1969 Volkswagen-Audi effectively took over NSU operations and subsequently decided to wind down the brand. Nissan-Datsun were heavily reliant on the Shoreham-on-sea premises so when VW/Audi chose to shift their whole operations elsewhere, the Nissan-Datsun franchise went into liquidation. Botnar simply set up a new concessionaire in late 1970, re-named it Datsun UK Ltd and started a planned controlled expansion of the brand in the UK.

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