Nissan: A Brief History

Nissan: A history of the Japanese car giant

Nissan: A history of the Japanese car giant

Nissan has established itself as a global player in the car manufacturing sector. It is the sixth largest producer of motor vehicles in the world, and the third largest in Japan.

Although it only officially became known as Nissan Motor Company PTY LTD in 1934, the company had been producing motor cars since 1914. The DAT, named after the original investors Den, Aoyama and Takeuchi, was the company’s first car. In 1932 the car was renamed the Datsun, and in 1937 became the first motor vehicle to be mass produced in Japan.

In 1938, with war looming on the Horizon, Nissan shifted production away from passenger cars and began producing trucks and military vehicles for the Japanese army. They also manufactured and assembled plane engines and motors for torpedo boats. Once the war had ended in 1945, allied troops seized and controlled much of the production capabilities of Nissan and other car manufacturers. They held control over Nissan for almost a decade.

The late 1950s and early 1960s saw Nissan boom. With full control back in the hands of the Nissan Motor Company and research, development and production back in full swing, Nissan experienced huge growth. In 1958 the company began exporting cars to the United States of America and set up production in Mexico in 1961 to produce for the American market. 1960 saw the company win the Deming Prize for engineering excellence in 1960.

Success on either side of the Atlantic meant that Nissan was now a major world player on the global stage, and the company began to diversify its portfolio of cars by producing sports cars. In 1967 Nissan released the Datsun 150 on to the market in North America. It was the first of its kind: a four door sports sedan. Nissan began to establish itself as a car manufacturer that produced passenger cars with racing heritage. In 1969 the Datsun Fairlady Z went into to production and became the best selling sports car worldwide. By the mid 1970s, Datsun was the largest importer of cars into the United States.

In 1981, the company began marketing vehicles under the Nissan name. It was also in that year that the company reached the landmark production figure of 30 million units. The 1980s saw Nissan boom. The Nissan Technical Centre was built as were several new plants worldwide. By the mid ‘80s cumulative production had surpassed 40 million units. 1989 saw Nissan move into a totally new arena when it released the Infiniti. Nissan was now producing luxury sedan cars.

The 1990s continued to see Nissan grow as a global car giant. In 1990 cumulative production reached over 50 million units. It was also in this year that the 300ZX Fairlady won the Import Car of the Year Award. At the end of the decade, Nissan signed a deal with Renault that would allow both companies to benefit from each other’s technical know-how and expertise.

Throughout the 2000s, Nissan grew as a global player. Already established in North America, Nissan was now becoming popular in Europe and throughout the world. During the first decade of the new millennium, green issues came to the fore in car manufacturing and in 2008 Nissan was endorsed as an Eco First company for its commitment to environmental protection.

Nissan has continued its commitment to the environment and in 2010 the company introduced the Nissan Leaf, which was groundbreaking as the world’s first mass produced, zero emission, 100% electric vehicle.

Since the first car came off the assembly line at Nissan, the company has been committed to producing top quality, technologically advanced, design savvy vehicles. With almost 100 years under it’s belt, Nissan is looking to conquer the next hundred with the same dedication and excellence that have become synonymous with the brand.

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