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Nissan (日産) is a Japanese automobile maker. From 1932 to 1983, they also used the trademark Datsun.

Nissan used to be Japan's second-largest car company, after Toyota, but it has dropped to third in size (IIRC) after Honda. Due to financial problems througout the 1990s (to the point where most believe an American company in a similarly bad financial state would have ceased trading), the French company Renault took a large shareholding in the company and installed Carlos Ghosn as president, the first non-Japanese person to run a Japanese car company (Mazda was run by an American, Mark Fields—now run by Lewis Booth of England—and Mitsubishi is run by a German, Rolf Eckrodt).

Table of contents
1 History
2 Products
3 Past and current models, partial list (U.S.)
4 External link


In 1914, the Kwaishinsha Motorcar Works (快進自動車工場), established three years earlier, in Azabu-Hiroo District in Tokyo, built the first DAT. The new car's name being the acronym of the company's partners' surnames: The Works was renamed to Kwaishinsha Motorcar Co. in 1918, and again, in 1925, to DAT Motorcar Co.

The next year, the Tokyo-based company merged with the Osaka-based Jitsuyo Jidosha Co., Ltd. (実用自動車製造株式会社) (established 1919) as DAT Automobile Manufacturing Co. Ltd. (ダット自動車製造株式会社, Dat Jidosha Seizo Kabushiki-Kaisha) in Osaka until 1932. In 1931, the first DATSON -- meaning "Son of DAT" -- was produced. However, the last syllable was changed to "sun", because "son" also means "loss" (損) in Japanese.

In 1933, the company name was Nipponized to Jidosha-Seizo Co. Ltd. (自動車製造株式会社, "Automobile Manufacturing Co. Ltd.") and moved to Yokohama where it still is now. The company became Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. (日産自動車, Nissan Jikosha Kaishain) on June 1, 1934, and was founded by being Yoshisuke Aikawa. For two years (1947 to 1948) the company was briefly called Nissan Heavy Industries Corp. (日産重工業).


Nissan has produced an extensive range of mainstream cars and trucks, initially for domestic consumption but exported around the world since the 1950s. There was a major strike in 1953.

It also produced several memorable sports cars, including the Z-car, an affordable sports car originally introduced in the 1969; and the Skyline GT-R, a hugely-powerful four-wheel-drive sports coupe that is regarded by many as Japan's Porsche 911 and that has unfortunately rarely been seen (except as a gray import) outside Japan.

Nissan is also responsible for vehicles manufactured under the Infiniti moniker.

Past and current models, partial list (U.S.)

External link