Nissan began production in Japan in 1912. The first car off the production line was called the DAT 31. That was in 1915. The name of Nissan did not become a reality until 1933. In between the DAT cars took on the name of DATSUN. The combination of the initials of the three first investors plus the word SON but in Japanese due to the translation it was changed to SUN thus we have Datsun. Many of the cars today are still called Datsun. It wasn’t until 1983 that the name Datsun was dropped and Nissan was fully adopted as the company name. In 1966 Nissan merged with the Prince Motor Company and began to produce the Nissan Skyline and Gloria. After some changes the Skyline and Gloria continue today as part of Nissan’s well known line Infiniti. The Infiniti was introduced to compete with Toyota Lexus and Honda’s Acura.
In 1993 to 2002 Nissan partnered with Ford Motor Company. During the partnership the Mercury Villager and the Nissan Quest mini vans were born. Both being the exact same car with a few cosmetic differences. After 2002 they went their separate ways and are now rivals in the automotive industry. The Nissan Terrano sold strong until 2005 when it eventually became the Nissan Pathfinder. The Terrano was identical to the Ford Maverick which was discontinued in 1998.
In 1999 Nissan was in financial trouble so as part of the solution they entered an alliance with Renault S.A. of France. Eventually by the end of the year the CEO of Renault put together a Nissan Revival Plan (NRP) which began with firing the top Japanese executives. The plan was consider the one of the most spectacular corporate turnarounds in history. In 2010 Daimler was added to the team. This triple alliance allowed for more technology possibilities and the added focus of battery and electric technologies. Nissan has had other partnerships with other well knows car companies. Some of them are Mazda, Subaru and Isuzu.
Nissan is also responsible for product other than automotive. In 1994 they began the Tu-Ka mobile phone service which they sold to KDDI Corporation in 1999. Nissan also has a joint project with Tahotsu Corp with a company they own called Nissan Marine. This company produces motors for small boats and marine equipment.
Today we know the company best for the Nissan Altima, The Maxima and the Nissan Sentra. They still manufacture their mini-van and pickup truck and the well know SUV, the Pathfinder. Other models you may recognize are the Pulsar, the Quest and the Xterra.
“Our product is forged from innovation and built to excite. It is our mission to enrich people’s lives, building trust with our employees, customers, dealers, partners’ shareholders and the world at large.”
Nissan’s vision for the future is clear and through their history despite hardships, and ever changing markets, they have shown to be tough fighters and continue to be fierce competitors in the difficult competitive automotive industry. For more history about the Nissan brand you can visit the official Nissan USA site—or a teamnissannh.com.