What we're reading this morning in the Motoramic Dash about Nissan reviving Datsun, the boomlet in tiny Toyota hybrids and the latest big cat in China:
Nissan revives Datsun brand for developing markets [Bloomberg] Nothing would make me happier than to report that Nissan has decided to revive the Datsun brand for a line of small, inexpensive sports cars in the spirit of the original 240Z and the 510s that have turned into a favorite of classic racers — but sadly, that's not true. Nissan chief Carlos Ghosn will bring back the Datsun name, but only for a series of small cars in places like Indonesia that Nissan feels might cheapen its own name.
Hyundai teases new seven-passenger Santa Fe for New York Auto Show [Hyundai] This is one of the "teaser" shots released today of the updated Hyundai Santa Fe SUV the Korean automaker will reveal at the New York Auto Show in two weeks. Hyundai devotes a few hundred words to describing the new look of the Santa Fe as "Storm Edge" design, and congrats to them for that piece of creating writing, but the real news lies in the photos showing three rows of seats, which would pitch the Santa Fe as a full-fledged competitor to models such as the Ford Explorer and Toyota Highlander.
Jaguar Land Rover seals deal with China's Chery [Reuters] Because the one thing missing from the Chinese market is luxury SUVs, Jaguar Land Rover has agreed to build a plant and research center in eastern China with Chery, the kind of partnership required by Chinese government rules. Those same rules require a lengthy approval process before anything can proceed — and no one can say when that approval will arrive.
Toyota Prius C gets early price gouging [GreenCarReports] The new Toyota Prius C coupe is not just a hit in Japan, where demand has forced Toyota to ramp up production. As GreenCarReports found, a Florida Toyota dealer saw an opening to put a $6,995 "market adjustment" mark-up on one Prius C, pushing its final price higher than a regular Prius. Anyone confronted by such behavior from dealers has two choices: Haggle them until their fingers bleed from keystroking a calculator, or just sit tight.
Top photo: AP