From Japan to the World at Large: A Brief History of Nissan

Automobiles have been a key feature of civilization since they revolutionized the way humans travel in the early 20th century. As technology advanced and cars started to arrive in almost every driveway, several manufacturers rose to the top of the industry by building reliable, high-performance vehicles. The Nissan company is one of these celebrated and trusted brands. Let’s take a look at this company’s history to show how it developed into the giant auto manufacturer it is today. niceasicminer


Way back in 1911, Japanese engineer Masujiro Hashimoto gathered a few investors to start the Kawishinsha Motor Car Works. This company produced its first car in 1914. This was a small passenger vehicle named the DAT – an acronym made from the company’s investors’ initials. The company’s first few decades saw it mainly producing trucks, as the demand for consumer passenger cars was still very low at the time. After undergoing a string of mergers and new names, the company first adopted the Nissan name in the late 1920s. At this time, the company owned several foundries and parts businesses, but did not have a huge program for designing and building its own models. One reason for this is that investors were pessimistic that automobiles would even succeed in Japan. japanoutboardmotor

This soon changed. The company merged with other businesses, and in 1935, it finished construction on its first full-service manufacturing plant, where it began producing trucks at a faster clip. Government subsidies helped to kick-start business, as the newly dubbed Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., began to build trucks, airplanes, and engines for the Japanese military. By the World War II era, the company was the country’s fourth largest auto manufacturer.

Connection with America

American engineer William Gorham was at the design helm in the company’s first years. His influence gave early auto designs and models a palpably American feel. The manufacturer imported many American parts and utilized American assembly processes to build cars in their first few decades of business. This state of affairs was also due to company’s executives making visits to Detroit, where they were inspired by the innovations of early U.S. auto production.


By the 1950s, Nissan decided to make its first foray into the global auto market, and began showing its models at car shows around the world. They realized that their feisty Datsun sedan could fill unmet needs in new markets like Australia and New Zealand. The company found major success, and grew into one of the world’s largest automobile exporters by the 1970s. In the 1980s, the company built its first manufacturing plants in the United States. More factories have since been constructed in India, Brazil, China, and Europe. Sprinkled across the map, these factories produce hundreds of thousands of vehicles annually. promote

There you have it: the hundred-year story of how a small, inspired Japanese company turned into one of the most reliable car brands in the entire world. True to its history, Nissan continues to make quality sedans, SUVs, and trucks to serve people from all walks of life, wherever they may be.


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