Nissan

Posted: March 30, 2012 in Companies

 

Nissan Logo

 

 

Nissan is a multinational automaker headquartered in Japan. It was a core member of the Nissan Group, but has become more independent after its restructuring under Carlos Ghosn (CEO).

It formerly marketed vehicles under the “Datsun” brand name and is one of the largest car manufacturers in the world. As of 2011, the company’s global headquarters is located in Nishi-ku, Yokohama. In 1999, Nissan entered a two way alliance with Renault S.A. of France and Renault Samsung Motors of Korea, which owns 43.4% of Nissan while Nissan holds 15% of Renault shares, as of 2008. The current market share of Nissan, along with Honda and Toyota, in American auto sales represent the largest of the automotive firms based in Asia that have been increasingly encroaching on the historically dominant US-based “Big Three” consisting ofGeneral Motors (GM), Ford and Chrysler. In its home market, Nissan became the second largest car manufacturer in 2011, surpassing Honda with Toyota still very much the dominant first. Along with its normal range of models, Nissan also produces a range of luxury models branded as Infiniti.

The Nissan VQ engines, of V6 configuration, have been featured among Ward’s 10 Best Enginesfor 14 straight years.

 

History

Beginnings of Datsun name from 1914

Masujiro Hashimoto founded The Kwaishinsha Motor Car Works in 1911. In 1914, the company produced its first car, called DAT.

It was renamed to Kwaishinsha Motorcar Co., Ltd. in 1918, and again to DAT Motorcar Co. in 1925. DAT Motors built trucks in addition to the DAT and Datsun passenger cars. The vast majority of its output were trucks, due to an almost non-existent consumer market for passenger cars at the time. Beginning in 1918, the first DAT trucks were produced for the military market. It was the low demand of the military market in the 1920s that forced DAT to merge in 1926 with Japan’s second most successful truck maker, Jitsuyo Motors.

In 1931, DAT came out with a new smaller car, the first “Datson”, meaning “Son of DAT”. Later in 1933 after Nissan took control of DAT Motors, the last syllable of Datson was changed to “sun”, because “son” also means “loss”  in Japanese, hence the name “Datsun

 

Nissan name first used in 1930s

 

In 1928, Yoshisuke Aikawa founded the holding company Nippon Sangyo (Japan Industries or Nippon Industries). “The name ‘Nissan’ originated during the 1930s as an abbreviation” used on the Tokyo stock market for Nippon Sangyo. This company was the famous Nissan “Zaibatsu” (combine) which included Tobata Casting and Hitachi. At this time Nissan controlled foundries and auto parts businesses, but Aikawa did not enter automobile manufacturing until 1933.

Nissan eventually grew to include 74 firms, and became the fourth-largest combine in Japan during World War II.

In 1930, Aikawa purchased controlling(?) shares in DAT Motors, and then in 1933 it merged Tobata Casting’s automobile parts department with DAT Motors. As Tobata Casting was a Nissan company, this was the beginning of Nissan’s automobile manufacturing.

 

Nissan Motors founded in 1934

In 1934, Aikawa “separated the expanded automobile parts division of Tobata Casting and incorporated it as a new subsidiary, which he named Nissan Motor (Nissan)”. Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. The shareholders of the new company however were not enthusiastic about the prospects of the automobile in Japan, so Aikawa bought out all the Tobata Casting shareholders (using capital from Nippon Industries) in June, 1934. At this time Nissan Motors effectively became owned by Nippon Sangyo and Hitachi.

Nissan built trucks, airplanes, and engines for the Japanese military. The company’s main plant was moved to China after land there was captured by Japan. The plant made machinery for the Japanese war effort until it was captured by American and Russian forces. From 1947 to 1948 the company was called Nissan Heavy Industries Corp.

 

Products

Automotive products

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 Datsun Fairlady 1500, 1600 and 2000 Roadsters, the Z-car, an affordable sports car originally introduced in 1969; and the GT-R, a powerfulall-wheel-drive sports coupe.

In 1985, Nissan created a tuning division, Nismo, for competition and performance development of such cars. One of Nismo’s latest models is the 370Z Nismo.

Until 1982, Nissan automobiles in most export markets were sold under the Datsun brand. Since 1989, Nissan has sold its luxury models in North America under the Infiniti brand.

Nissan also sells a small range of kei cars, mainly as a joint venture with other Japanese manufacturers like Suzuki or Mitsubishi. Nissan does not develop these cars. Nissan also has shared model development of Japanese domestic cars with other manufacturers, particularlyMazdaSubaru, Suzuki and Isuzu.

In China, Nissan produces cars in association with the Dongfeng Motor Group including the 2006 Nissan Livina Geniss. This is the first in the range of a new worldwide family of medium sized cars and is to make its world debut at the Guangzhou International Motor Show.

Nissan launches Qashqai SUV in South Africa, along with their new motorsport Qashqai Car Games.

In 2010, Nissan created another tuning division,IPL, this time for their premium/luxury brand Infiniti.

 

 

Global sales figures

 

Calendar Year Global Sales
1998 2,555,962
1999 2,629,044
2000 2,632,876
2001 2,580,757
2002 2,735,932
2003 2,968,357
2004 3,295,830
2005 3,597,851
2006 3,477,837
2007 3,675,574
2008 3,708,074
2009 3,358,413
2010 4,080,588
2011 4,669,981

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