Renault-Nissan is poised to launch a range of budget cars - but officials have stopped short of confirming they will carry the Datsun badge.
Andy Palmer, executive vice-president of Renault-Nissan, confirmed at the Geneva motor show that an announcement about an entry-level car project that could rival the Tata Nano, and the markets it would be sold in, was "weeks away".
"We're talking about a range of cars that would provide a value-for-money opportunity in several segments," he said. "I won't use the word cheap, as the customers won't want a cheap car, but they will want value for money, which means quality and good design that they can afford.
"If you look at the number of people on bikes who want to move to move up to a car, the possibilities are enormous. But at the moment there is very little on offer"
Palmer declined to say which markets the cars would be sold in, but conceded that each market would need its own regional specification. He also highlighted the risk of using the car in the emerging Russian market, where part the Lada brand that is part owned by Renault-Nissan is already a success.
"If you look at the price point we're talking about then it could never be a world car," he said. "Besides, building to a car for all world use means introducing compromises. It is better to adapt for local markets."
Asked about the possibility of branding the new cars as Datsuns, Palmer responded: "There's no announcement, but it's an interesting idea."