Interview: Nissan EVP Mitsuhiko Yamashita on R&D for Datsun
Nissan Executive Vice President for Research and Development, Mitsuhiko Yamashita, recently spoke with the media on the return of Datsun. EVP Yamashita said Research & Development would utilise its 20,000 engineers around the globe to help support and expand the Datsun brand.
From the perspective of R&D, what’s the philosophy underpinning the return of Datsun?
Lots of customers especially in Japan and America remember the name of Datsun very well.
Historically, Datsun brand characteristics included being lightweight with good fuel efficiency, durability and reliability. We’re proud of these things. On the other hand, the markets we are entering are fast-growing markets with many customers buying cars for the first time. For these kinds of customers the fundamentals of mobility, such as durability, reliability, appropriate weight and fuel economy, are important.
I think it’s a great thing that Datsun’s heritage matches these needs of customers in the new markets. We, as research and development, are very excited to develop these kinds of vehicles.
How are you tackling the Datsun project?
The Datsun GO
Nissan Motor Company has 20,000 engineers involved in research and development worldwide at 43 locations in Japan and internationally. It is important to build and grow the Datsun brand by utilising these globally diverse resources.
In terms of markets, India is one example. When we develop a vehicle in India, we take full advantage of the ability of local Indian engineers and combine these with the experience and know-how that have been accumulated over a long period of time. We want to create a strong product and strong brand by making the best use of talent locally as well as our existing assets.
What are the challenges for R&D in developing the new Datsun products?
The challenge will be how we respond to customer needs in the new markets by utilising our experience. Throughout this process, there will be a lot of things we need to learn from the local market and we need to utilise our experience. To manage both of these effectively is our mission.