Nissan is one of the oldest car makers in the world, with roots going all the way back to 1914, when Masujiro Hashimoto started the Kaishinsha Motor Car Works company and then produced its first vehicle, the DAT.
The company went through a few names over the years, including variations on the original Kaishinsha name and eventually became DAT Motors in the 1920s, when it was building trucks and DAT passenger cars. Finally, in the 1930s, Nissan became part of Nihon Sangyo, and the name Nissan was born as an abbreviation of the parent company’s name.
The 1930s also saw the birth of the Datsun, which was meant to be the “Son of DAT,” a new take on the popular car that started it all. The Datsun Type 15 became the first mass-produced vehicle in Japan and included mini-pickup and delivery van options.
Nissan followed the original Datsun line with the Nissan Skyline in 1957, which was a precursor to the sporty Nissan GT-R. The 1958 Datsun 1200 Sedan came the next year and was the first Datsun to be commercially available in the US, sparking a series of Nissan vehicles sold in America that helped build the brand’s reputation throughout the 1950s and 1960s.
The Datsun Fairlady 1200 Roadster helped Nissan further branch out from sedans and pickup trucks; by the late 1960s, Nissan had opened its first North American production facility in Mexico, sold its first SUV, and launched its first vehicle specifically styled for the US market.
Over the next several decades, Nissan broke into competitive racing, both track and off-road, launched the luxury sub-brand Infiniti, earned awards from the Environmental Protection Agency, and even appeared on Baywatch. Nissan has become one of the biggest car brands in America and a leader in electric vehicles, selling more EVs than any other car company.
To find out more about the history of Nissan, or to check out our versatile range of vehicles, give us a call today at Cronic Nissan.