Nissan has held the Datsun automotive brand since 1931. Nissan exported automobiles that were labeled as Datsun in foreign countries between 1958 and 1986.
Bluebird and Sunny were two of the first Datsun vehicles to enter our market in the early 1960s. The Datsun automobiles quickly became popular in Pakistan thanks to their effectiveness, dependability, and simplicity of maintenance. They really were workhorses! Vehicles like the Datsun Bluebird, Sunny GL, and 120Y were extremely popular in our nation and ruled the highways for many years. In reality, there are still a sizable number of Sunny GLs on our roads, which were preferred vehicles for taxi cabs.
However, Nissan made the decision to discontinue the Datsun brand in 1981 after selling 20 million automobiles in 190 nations. Nissan had replaced Datsun as the company's major brand internationally by 1986 when the Datsun brand had been totally phased out. Thus, starting in 1981, the Nissan Sunny replaced the Datsun Sunny.
The first Datsun Sunny carried a chassis code of B10 when it made its debut in 1966. B110, B210, and B310 were the successive generational designations. The 1981 Sunny was given the designation B11, nevertheless, to signify a fresh beginning for the Sunny under the Nissan brand. The first front-wheel-drive Sunny, it debuted at the Tokyo Motor Show in late 1981, one and a half years ahead of the Corolla, its fiercest rival. In 1983, the Corolla made the move to front-wheel drive.
Sunny had the additional benefit of being unexpectedly roomier on the inside. Therefore, the automobile with a 1.0L engine under its hood and a benefit of a trunk served two categories of consumers. Due to its ample size and capacity, the Sunny would appeal to people looking for a 1.0L hatchback, while those seeking a sedan would be drawn to it because of the Sunny's smaller engine's tax advantages.
Dual-tone colors were another feature of the B11 Sunny that made it stand out from rivals like the Mitsubishi Lancer, Honda Civic, and Toyota Corolla, which were more appealing on the outside than the Nissan.
A few years later, a minor makeover with new headlights, taillamps, and a reworked grille was shown. As usual, the Nissan Sunny was offered in a wide range of body combinations, but in Pakistan, only sedan models were frequently seen. In 1985, the B12 model took the place of the B11 Sunny.
The B12 Sunny, which was unveiled in September 1985 at the Tokyo Motor Show, first appeared in our market in 1986. Despite expanding in size, the B12 kept its squared-off appearance, which by the middle of the 1980s had started to lose some of its appeals. Nissan's design director at the time insisted on this look, which hurt the automaker's sales during that time period.
The B12 was even more spacious than the B11 model it succeeded due to bigger dimensions. But the inside design was equally as lacking as the appearance. Despite the fact that 1.3L gasoline and 1.7L CD17 diesel variants were also offered, the 1.0L models continued to be popular with this generation.
The Datsun Sunny of the 1960s and 1970s always held a particular place in the hearts of those who had the privilege of owning one, so the Nissan Sunny's conservative appearance didn't really matter to them as long as the car ran without a hitch, which it did.
A facelift with updated front and back ends but the same engines and equipment debuted in 1989. The B13 model, which first entered our market in 1991, took the place of the B12 in 1990.
The B13, which debuted in 1990, carried over many of the B12's concepts but had a more rounded, contemporary body that brought the Sunny closer to the fashion of the 1990s. However, at the time Pak Suzuki's Bin Qasim facility was opened in 1991, and Toyota and Honda followed in the following years, import restrictions were being enforced to help the local sector get off the ground. As a result, the doors for imported vehicles, notably the Nissan Sunny, were shut, which is why there were fewer B13 models overall than B11 and B12 models.
But the early 1990s Yellow Cab program introduced a flood of vehicles that were eventually used for private purposes. The B13 Nissan Sunny was one of a wide range of available vehicles, however, the taxi variants had diesel engines.
Later in the 1990s, Ghandhara Nissan attempted to enter the market with the locally built B14 Sunny, but it was unable to pose a threat to its rivals. The only locally produced car with a diesel engine option, aside from the Toyota Corolla (7th generation), was the B14 Sunny. Despite this, Ghandhara failed to achieve popularity.
Ghandhara offered the more modern N16 Sunny as an import between 2005 and 2008 in response to the B14 Sunny's failure. However, the domestically produced N16 Sunny, which was made between 2009 and 2010, only sold about 1,000 units before it was discontinued.
In 2016, there were rumors that Ghandhara intended to restart production of the N16 Sunny since the Auto Policy 2016-21 offered special incentives for sick units—non-operational assembly factories. The assembly facility for Nissan in Gandhara was one of the Pakistani manufacturing facilities that were not in use. However, because of financial difficulties the parent firm Nissan was facing, the plan to bring the Nissan Sunny N16 as well as the Datsun Go and Go+ models that were intended to be released by mid-2020 was abandoned.
With Chery, a Chinese carmaker, Ghandhara will now market the Tiggo line of crossovers in Pakistan. They can nevertheless take into account the new Nissan Sunny, known as the Versa in North American markets and the Almera in ASEAN countries. The Sunny is still a subcompact car and now competes against vehicles like the Toyota Yaris and Honda City, in contrast to its former rivals Toyota Corolla and Honda Civic, which evolved from being subcompact to compact automobiles.
The good news is that it still has its tried-and-true recipe for success—a 1.0L engine. With the advent of this new and successful Nissan, which has a 1.0L turbo engine and may earn tax benefits compared to other comparable-sized vehicles with 1.3L and 1.5L engines under their hoods, Ghandhara can always boost their game. Sunny used to be a highly trusted name in the past.
Do you believe Ghandhara ought to take another stab at bringing the new Nissan Sunny to Pakistan?