In the early days of British sales, Datsuns were advertised heavily in the motoring media. Combined with a excellent value and reliability offered by the cars, this promotion led to the staggering success of Datsun UK in the early 1970’s. The level of their achievement can be seen if you consider the sales statistics. Datsun UK sold 6900 cars in the UK in 1971 and by the end following year that number had hit 30,000 only to be more than doubled in 1973 to 60,500! By 1976 Datsun UK held 6% of the entire UK market, representing more than 60% of all Japanese imports and outselling Toyota by nearly three to one. In fact the UK was the only market in the world at that time where Nissan outsold Toyota.
If an agreement between the British Government and the Japanese Automobile Manufacturers Association (JAMA) hadn’t introduced import quotas, fixing imports at their 1976 level, who knows how big Datsun’s market share would have become? A lot of this success was down to Datsun UK’s founder Octav Botnar, who believed that it was the dealers themselves who were the key to success when it came to sales promotion. With the right financial motivation and a simple management structure, the company’s success would be brought about on the showroom floor. In fact Datsun UK probably had one of the smallest management teams of any importer at the time and operated on a single tiered principle where every dealer in the country had direct contact with the management at Datsun UK’s head office. Datsun UK was actually started with a very small staff of only twenty people and very little work was sent to outside contactors. Even their sales literature was designed and printed in-house (in a converted ladies toilet no less!). Dealers were encouraged to advertise in local media and take an active role in the promotion of the company and the marque. Most were very keen to do so having seen their sales double year on year. Collected together here are a selection of these dealer adverts which would often appear together in large promotional features in the motoring press at the time…