The Japanese have a history of producing some memorable cars and many have sold well in the UK. A good example is the Datsun Cherry, which was produced by Nissan. The car debuted just before Nissan’s surge in sales, but over 30,000 were sold in 1972. The Datsun Cherry became so popular in the UK that it wasn’t replaced until 1976. We’re looking into the history of the model and how it was designed.
The origin of the Cherry goes back to the Prince Motor Company, who planned on developing a front-engine front-wheel drive car. After Prince merged with Nissan in 1966, the company focused on creating the Cherry. Debuting in 1970, the first version was called the E10 and featured four-wheel independent suspension.
In the European market, the E10 was called the Datsun 100A. The Datsun brand was used in place of Nissan in order to help increase business awareness. The car made an impact in the UK, helping to increase Datsun’s prominence. Datsun was ahead of other Japanese car manufacturers gaining market share in the UK.
British magazine Motor carried out a poll for Cherry owners. The questionnaire asked whether the owners would buy another car of the same model. 76% of Cherry owners said yes, which surpassed the 66% score set by the Volkswagen Beetle.
The second generation of the Cherry was called the F-11 in Japan and branded as the Datsun F10 in other countries. It was introduced in 1974 and didn’t sell as well compared to the original. In 1978, the third generation debuted and became known as the Cherry N10. The third Cherry proved to be more popular, as it featured a boxy body and European styling.
The N10 came out at a time when small hatchbacks were selling well, which contributed towards its popularity. This version was also successful in the UK, becoming the most popular foreign car in 1981.
The fourth version, called the N12, appeared in 1982. It was larger compared to earlier models and several engines were used. They included a 988 cc 50PS, 1270 cc 60PS and 1488 cc 69PS.
The Cherry was eventually replaced by the Nissan Sunny. In the modern day, the Cherry remains a popular classic car and a reminder of excellent Japanese engineering.
By Charles01 [Public domain], from Wikimedia Commons