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The History of Nissan

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Nissan is a well-known brand in the US today. Many people recognize the most popular makes – Nissan Rogue, Nissan Sentra, Nissan Frontier. From sedans to pickups, this manufacturer has established a solid reputation of quality and style. This well-deserved reputation is the result of hard work, smart decisions and intuitive branding.

Early Beginnings

Nissan began as Kaishinsha Motor Car Works in 1911 when it was founded by Masujiro Hashimoto in Tokyo. The first car to be produced was DAT, which was an acronym of the surnames of the investors. This model came out in 1914. The name was changed in 1918 and again in 1925 when it became known as DAT Motorcar Company. The focus was on both DAT trucks and passenger cars with much of the attention going to trucks. The first trucks were produced for the military.

It wasn’t until 1931 that the first Datsun was built, which was the Datsun Type 11. During the 1930s, the name Nissan was used for the first time as an abbreviation for the company on the stock exchange in Tokyo. The holding company was Nihon Sangyo, which was abbreviated to NiSan. It held up to 74 businesses, including auto parts companies and foundries.

DAT Motor Works or DAT Jidosha Seizo merged with Tobata Casting in 1933, which was a Nissan company and the start of Nissan’s interest in automobile manufacturing. A year later, the automobile part of the company was separated and become known as Nissan Motor Company. Long before the Nissan vehicles were built or sold in the US, the company had ties with the country through the use of parts. Engineers would use the American technology to build passenger cars, trucks and buses. Nissan also partnered with the Austin Motor Company to build Austin 7s, which would be the first development into overseas success. During the 1950s, Nissan produced over 20,000 Austins while also using patents to build Datsun cars, which was part of the agreement between the two companies.

Move into the US

The first time Nissan showed a vehicle in the US was in 1958 at the Los Angeles Auto Show with the Datsun Bluebird. Nissan Motor Corporation USA was formed in Gardena, California. The Datsun Fairlady roadsters became popular during this time, winning the 411 series of races with the Datsun 510 and Datsun 240Z.

The 1970s saw development of manufacturing plants around the world for Nissan, including the first in North America in Mexico. Plants were built in the US in the 1980s to offset import taxes. In the 2000s, Nissan has gained sales in the rental industry by providing more vehicles to companies like Hertz and Enterprise Rent-A-Car.

Today, Nissan is best known for its electric products, especially the plug-in all-electric LEAF. The company has also ventured into autonomous cars, developing a prototype for testing.

You can check out the latest Nissan models at Premier Nissan of San Jose where you can test drive the Nissan LEAF or the ever-popular Nissan Altima. See how the Nissan Frontier handles and gets the job done. You can also see firsthand the latest in Nissan technology that makes these models popular and award-winning choices for today’s buyer.