Nissan Motor Company Limited, Japan

Nissan Motor Company Limited, Japan



26 December 1933; 83 years ago
Masujiro Hashimoto

Nishi-ku, Yokohama, Japan


The Nissan Motor  company Ltd. is a Japanese multinational automobile company established in 1933 with its headquarter at Nishi-Ku, Yokohama, Japan. The company sells its vehicles under the Nissan, Infiniti, and Datsun brands with in-house performance tuning products labeled Nismo. In 2013, Nissan was the sixth largest automaker in the world, after Toyota, General Motors, Volkswagen Group, Hyundai Motor Group, and Ford. Taken together, the Renault–Nissan Alliance would be the world’s fourth largest automaker,and  Nissan is the leading Japanese brand in China, Russia and Mexico. Nissan is the world's largest electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer, with global sales of Nissan more than 275,000 all-electric vehicles till December 2016.



1911- 1950s :

Nissan History goes way back, when Masujiro Hashimoto founded the Kaishinsha Motor Car Works on 1 July 1911 about 106 years ago in Tokyo's Azabu-Hiroo district, Japan's first automobile manufacturer. In 1914, the company produced its first car,called DAT.DAT Motors built trucks in addition to the DAT and Datsun passenger cars. It was renamed to Kaishinsha Motorcar Co., 1918, Beginning in 1918, the first DAT trucks were produced for the military market. At the same time, Jitsuyo Jidosha Co., produced small trucks using parts, and materials imported from the United States.The vast majority of its output were trucks, due to an almost non-existent consumer market for passenger cars in 1923 due to Great Kantō earthquake. Commercial operations were placed on hold during Japan's participation in World War I, and the company contributed to the war effort.

In 1926 the Tokyo-based DAT Motors merged with the Osaka-based Jitsuyo Jidosha Co., Ltd. to become DAT Jidosha Seizo Co., Ltd Automobile Manufacturing Co., Ltd. in Osaka until 1932. In 1931, DAT came out with a new smaller car, called the Datsun Type 11, the first "Datson" and later in 1933 after Nissan Group zaibatsu took control of DAT Motors, the last syllable of Datson was changed to "sun". In 1931, DAT Jidosha Seizo became affiliated with Tobata Casting, and was merged into Tobata Casting in 1933. As Tobata Casting was a Nissan company, this was the beginning of Nissan's automobile manufacturing.

In 1934, Aikawa separated the expanded automobile parts division of Tobata Casting and incorporated it as a new subsidiary, which he named Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. The shareholders of the new company were not enthusiastic about the prospects of the automobile in Japan, so Aikawa bought out all the Tobata Casting shareholders in June 1934. At this time, Nissan Motor effectively became owned by Nihon Sangyo and Hitachi.

In 1935, construction of its Yokohama plant was completed. 44 Datsuns were shipped to Asia, Central and South America. In 1935, the first car manufactured by an integrated assembly system rolled off the line at the Yokohama plant.Nissan built trucks, airplanes, and engines for the Imperial Japanese Army. November 1937 Nissan's headquarter was moved to Hsinking the capital of Manchukuo then in December changed name to Manchuria Heavy Industries Developing Co. When Nissan started to assemble larger vehicles under the “Nissan” brand in 1937, much of the design plans and plant facilities were supplied by the Graham-Paige Company. Nissan also had a Graham license under which passenger cars, buses and trucks were made.

In 1940, first knockdown kits were shipped to Dowa Jidosha Kogyo one of MHID’s companies, for assembly. In 1944, the head office was moved to Nihonbashi, Tokyo, and the company name was changed to Nissan Heavy Industries, Ltd., which the company kept through 1949. Between 1955 and 1973, Nissan "expanded rapidly on the basis of technical advances supported - and often suggested - by the union." Ichiro became president of the Confederation of Japan Automobile Workers Unions and "the most influential figure in the right wing of the Japanese labor movement."


1950-2000s :

In 1966, Nissan merged with the Prince Motor Company, bringing more upmarket cars, including the Skyline and Gloria, into its selection. The Prince name was eventually abandoned, and successive Skylines and Gloria's bore the Nissan name.   The Skyline lives on as the G Series of Infiniti.

Datsun Bluebird  was first showcase at the 1958 Los Angeles Auto Show.The company formed a U.S. subsidiary, Nissan Motor Corporation U.S.A., in Gardena, California in 1960. Nissan continued to improve their sedans with the latest technological advancements and chic Italianate styling in sporty cars such as the Datsun Fairlady roadsters, the race-winning 411 series, the Datsun 510 and the world-class Datsun 240Z. By 1970, Nissan had become one of the world's largest exporters of automobiles.

In the wake of the 1973 oil crisis, consumers worldwide (began turning to high-quality small economy cars. To meet the growing demand for its new Nissan Sunny, the company built new factories in Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, Taiwan, United States and South Africa. The "Chicken Tax" of 1964 placed a 25% tax on commercial vans began building plants in the U.S. in the early 1980s. Nissan's initial assembly plant, in Smyrna, Tennessee built only trucks such as the 720 and Hardbody, but later expanded to produce several car and SUV lines, including the Altima, Maxima, Xterra, Pathfinder and LEAF all-electric car. Until May 1995 170,000 vehicles were made, mainly for Greece.

In order to overcome export tariffs and delivery costs to its European customers, Nissan contemplated establishing a plant in Europe. Nissan tried to convert the Greek plant into one manufacturing cars for all European countries however due to issues with the Greek government not only did that not happen but the plant itself was closed. After an extensive review, Sunderland in the north east of England was chosen for its skilled workforce and its location near major ports. Sunderland plant in north east of England was completed in 1986 as the subsidiary Nissan Motor Manufacturing (UK) Ltd. and produced  400,000 vehicles per year, till 2007 landing it the title of the most productive plant in Europe.

In 2001, Nissan established a manufacturing plant in Brazil. In 2005, Nissan added operations in India, through its subsidiary Nissan Motor India Pvt. Ltd. With its global alliance partner, Renault, Nissan invested $990 million to set up a manufacturing facility in Chennai, catering to the Indian market as well as a base for exports of small cars to Europe.  Nissan sold nearly 520,000 new vehicles in China in 2009 in a joint venture with Dongfeng Motor. To meet increased production targets, Dongfeng-Nissan expanded its production base in Guangzhou, which would become Nissan's largest factory around the globe in terms of production capacity. Nissan also has moved and expanded its Nissan Americas Inc.

In 2014, Nissan cars produced by Renault-Samsung in South Korea. This production started with 80,000 Nissan Rogue/X-Trail produced by Renault-Samsung Busan factory in South Korea. In the U.S., Nissan has been increasing its reliance on sales to daily-rental companies like Enterprise Rent-A-Car or Hertz. In 2016, Nissan's rental sales jumped 37% and in 2017 Nissan became the only major auto maker to boost rental sales when the Detroit Three cut back less profitable deliveries to daily-rental companies.



The Nissan Titan appeared in 2004, as a full-size pickup truck produced for the North American market, the truck shares the stretched Nissan F-Alpha platform with the Nissan Armada and Infiniti QX56 SUVs.



The first Cabstar (A320) appeared in March 1968, as a replacement for the earlier Datsun Cab light. It is a cab-over engine truck and was presented either as a truck, light van (glazed van), or as a "route van" (bus). It uses the 1189 cc Nissan D12 engine with 56 PS (41 kW), after some changes and the new 1.3 liter J13 engine, with 67 PS (49 kW).


Electrical Vehicles

In 29 December, 1997 Nissan revealed its first battery electric vehicle, the Nissan Altra at the Los Angeles International Auto Show. In 2010, Nissan introduced the Nissan LEAF as the first mass-market, all-electric vehicle introduced worldwide. Nissan's second all-electric vehicle, the Nissan e-NV200, was released in November 2013. In June 2016. Nissan announced its first range extender car in Japan before March 2017.


Autonomous Cars

In August 2013 Nissan announced its plans to launch several driverless cars by 2020. Nissan installed its autonomous car technology in a Nissan Leaf all-electric car for demonstration purposes., The Leaf fitted with the prototype Advanced Driver Assistance System was permitted a license plate that allows to drive it on Japanese public roads in September 2013.


Marketing Activities

Nismo is the motorsports division of Nissan, founded in 1984. Nismo cars have participated in the All Japan Sports Prototype Championship, Super GT, IMSA GT Championship, World Sports car Championship, FIA World Endurance Championship etc.


Logo & Brand

From the foundation of the company in 1930s Nissan Motor Company produced both Datsun and Nissan-branded vehicles. However, according to the company’s policy, it was Datsun that provided cars for export markets and required a recognizable logo to advertise them. A simple yet clever logo was introduced — a blue rectangle with Datsun inscription in white letters, embedded into the red circle, reflecting the sun. It was a Japanese symbol and Datsun cars quickly became associated with the land of the rising sun. Nissan-branded vehicles mainly targeted the Japanese car market and a modest Nissan wording was sufficient.



List of few top most popular Nissan models on JCT :


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