Nissan's Amazing History

Manufacturers News

Aug 18th, 2019

Nissan's Amazing History

Nissan Motor Company Limited is a Japanese automotive manufacturer, born under the name Datsun. It has been headquartered in Yokohama since 2010. Nissan was linked to the French car manufacturer Renault from 1999 through the Renault-Nissan Alliance, which is the first global car group in the first half of 2017. 

Since 2012, Nissan Group holds a 15% stake in the Renault group. Conversely, the Renault Group holds a 43.4% stake in the Nissan group.

History and New Beginning of Nissan 

Formerly, it was called Datsun, before naming Nissan. On July 1, 1911, Kawaishinsha Motor Car Co. was established in Tokyo by three investors, Kenjiro Den, Rokuro Aoyama, and Meitaro Takeuchi, and began manufacturing automobiles. Three years later in 1914, the first car left the workshops, the DAT, which had an engine of V-2 with a power of 10 horses and which could reach the maximum speed of 32 km / h. 

Prewar Years

Nissan dates back to Kawaishinsha Co., an automobile factory founded by Masujiro Hashimoto in the Azabu-Hiroo district, Tokyo in 1911. Hashimoto was a pioneer in Japan's automobile industry since its inception. In 1914, a small passenger car was developed based on its own design, and in the following year, the car made its debut in the market under the name of DAT. DAT represents the first letters of the last names of the three main supports of Hashimoto: Kenjiro Den, Rokuro Aoyama, and Meitaro Takeuchi.

Jitsuyo Jidosha Co., Ltd., another Nissan precursor, was established in Osaka in 1919 to manufacture three-wheeled Gorham vehicles, designed by American engineer William R. Gorham. The tools, components, and materials were imported by the company from the United States, making it one of the most modern of those times. The first small-sized passenger car Datsun left the Yokohama plant in April 1935, and vehicle exports to Australia were also launched. 

Datsun cars symbolized Japan's rapid advances in modern industrialization, as evidenced by the slogan of those days, "The rising sun as a flag and Datsun as the favourite car."

Post War Period

During the World War II years, Nissan made a strategic alliance with Austin Motor Co. Ltd. of the United Kingdom in 1952, and the first Austin left the line a year later. Nissan was the first Japanese builder to receive the Deming Award for engineering excellence in 1960. During this period, Nissan emphasized an active organization to support the company's next stage of expansion.

The fusion of DAT and Jidosha Seizo

In 1919, another company, Jitsuyo Jidosha Seizo, based in Osaka, launched the Lila, a small traditional 1.2-litre car. In 1926, these two companies merged and formed the DAT Jidosha Seizo Co. by taking over the initials of the three founders of Kawaishinsha Motor Car Co. They settled in Osaka. Their automobile activities failed; so they decided to specialize in the manufacturing of trucks. In 1930, they decided to revive an automobile business with the DAT 91. 

In 1931, the company became a subsidiary of Tobata Imono Co. and embarked on the production of a derivative of the Austin Seven British. The new cars take the mark Datson (literally the son of DAT). In 1932, they built a new factory in Yokohama, moved there and once again renamed their Datsun products in reference to the English translation of the sun, a symbol of Japan and because Son has a disadvantageous pronunciation in Japanese. In December 1933, Tobata Imono Co. and another Japanese company, Nihon Sangyo Co. (Literally Japan Industry, abbreviated Ni-San), created a joint subsidiary, Jidosha-Seizo Ltd., to manufacture the Datsun. Nihon Sangyo Co. took the entire company in 1934 and renamed Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. The Nissan brand is created.

Nissan Relations with Austin Motor Company

In the 1930s, Datsun was later called as Japan's Nissan. They manufactured the cars edging under Austin's patents. However, in 1934 Datsun started the production of Austin Seven under license and this operation proved as the biggest success of Austin's licensing abroad, marking the commencement of Datsun's international success.

In 1952, Austin signed another agreement with Nissan to bring together 2000 Austin imported sets and sell them in Japan under the Austin brand. The agreement allowed Nissan to locally manufacture all parts of the Austin model within three years. Nissan produced and marketed Austin for seven years. The agreement provided Nissan with the right to use Austin's patents, which Nissan used to make their own engines for the Datsun cars. In 1953, British-made Austin was sold in Japan, but already in 1955, the Austin Cambridge-completely built by Nissan, which offered a slenderly large body and an engine of 1489 cc co-opted the Japanese market. Nissan manufactured 20,855 Austin from 1953 to 1959. In 1969, the company launched the 240Z, a model with a six-cylinder in-line 2.4 litre and 150 horsepower, that is to say, the power of a Porsche for less than half of its price. 

100 Days Strike in 1953

Associated with the Korean War effort, then dismantled after the Allied victory, Nissan recovered its name in 1949. At that time, many DATSUN are still derivatives of Austin, but the sedan from 1948 resembles the American Crosley and, in 1952 appears an English style car again, since even under English license. In 1953, a hard strike of 100 days broke out and upset the company. In 1955, Datsun offered the 110 limousines; in 1958, a Datsun 210 wins at the Rally Australia Mobilgas Round Australia Trial; in 1959, the Datsun Bluebird is launched in Japan, the success is immediate, and this model will remain a flagship model of the brand. 

Nissan Associated with Prince Motor Company

In 1964, the President launched a luxury car. In 1966, Nissan bought fellow Prince Motor Co. and acquired a highly qualified staff and the fame of Skyline and Gloria models. Prince succeeded in building premium cars. Amongst the famous car lines: the Gloria and Skyline models got engrossed in the 1966 Nissan range. The company also produced the 15 passenger Homy that was finally shared out with the Nissan Laurel and Nissan Caravan, a 4-door sedan with the horizon, in which the Prince Motor Company started the development before the merger, but it was presented after the 1968 merger. 

Presently, the Nissan Gloria and the Skyline are known in the US with the name of Infiniti M and the Infiniti G (2003 - current).

Foreign Expansion

The group started becoming international. In 1958, it began exporting to the United States, then in 1962 to Europe. Datsun opened a plant in Taiwan in 1959, a plant in Mexico in 1961. In 1973, the Nissan Sunny was a great success in the United States because of its low consumption in the context of soaring oil prices. In the 1980s, Nissan set up industry in the United States. In 1984, Nissan opened its plant in Sunderland in the UK and 1988 the centre of R & D UK. 

The Nissan and Datsun brands have long coexisted, Nissan being used in Japan and Datsun abroad. In 1981, Nissan decided to abandon completely, especially in the United States, the Datsun brand, considered too Anglo-Saxon, and to focus on the Nissan brand. 

In 1989, in response to Toyota's creation of the Lexus brand, Nissan, in turn, created a prestige brand in the North American market. Infiniti was designed to complement the Nissan brand in the premium segment and compete with new products. This brand helped to increase its presence on what is then the world's largest market but also represents a hefty investment. 

Nissan experienced its most robust expansion in the 1970s when the entire Japanese auto industry was deploying. Nissan becomes the number two Japanese cars behind Toyota. Since then, the ambition of the company is always catching up with its competitor, without ever succeeding. 

But in its race with Toyota and its forced development policy internationally, Nissan's indebtedness in the 1980s was increasing. In the 1990s, the company fell behind in the development of its new products; the identity of its products appears blurred. Nissan achieved only one profitable year in the decade in 1996. The following years end in more and more losses and massive indebtedness. 

Products

Automotive Products

Nissan has manufactured the assorted range of cars and trucks and exported globally since the 1950s. It produced highly affordable sports cars in 1969. Nissan produced Nismo in 1985. The company launched Nissan NV-Series in Mexico, the US, and Canada in 2011 and Qashqai SUV in South Africa in 2013. In the year 2016, Nissan introduced Nissan Intelligent Mobility technology. In the New York Auto Show, 2018 - Nissan introduced the Altima sixth-generation. 

Autonomous Cars

In August 2013, Nissan made the announcements about its private plan, which was to launch numerous driverless cars by the year 2020.

Non-Automotive Products

Nissan also built numerous ventures outside the automobile industry. The company also introduced the M-V orbital rocket. 

Renault-Nissan Alliance - 1999 to Present

In the late 1990s, Nissan was on the brink of bankruptcy. In 1998, after trying to merge with some manufacturers without success, Nissan found a plank of salvation in Renault and Louis Schweitzer. Negotiations began in October 1998 and March 1, 1999, an alliance with Renault, the second French manufacturer, is concluded. 

Renault takes 44% of the Japanese capital by creating the Renault-Nissan Alliance through the exchange of cross-shareholdings. On this occasion, Louis Schweitzer calls on Carlos Ghosn, to entrust the management of Nissan to restructure the Japanese manufacturer. The latter becomes the first foreigner to run a Japanese car manufacturer.

Became Nissan CEO under the leadership of Louis Schweitzer, Carlos Ghosn undertakes the recovery of the company, with the plan NRP called Nissan-Revival-Plan. By implementing a drastic cost-cutting policy, including the elimination of 28,000 jobs, and taking advantage of synergies with its new shareholder, Nissan is once again becoming a globally competitive company. The Renault-Nissan Alliance becomes the fourth largest automobile group in the world.

The new headquarters, a ninety-nine-meter-high, twenty-two-story tower at Nishi-ku on Yokohama Bay, was completed in 2009.

In 2012, Nissan talked about reactivating the Datsun brand, to market with low-cost vehicles around 500,000 yen (€ 4,600) in emerging countries, China, Brazil, India, or Mexico. It would be a question of reproducing at Nissan the success which Dacia knows with its partner Renault.

Changes in 2013

In February 2013, Nissan unveiled a first image giving an overview of the calendar-type of the resurrected brand Datsun.

On July 15, 2013, Nissan relaunched the Datsun brand in India with the Datsun GO, introducing the first model of the low-cost brand, a five-door sedan based on Lada, which was then be broadcast in Indonesia and Russia. Datsun was the low-cost brand of Nissan as Dacia is for Renault, the four brands being part of the Renault-Nissan alliance with Lada, Dacia, and Datsun models will have common platforms.

Action Taken by Nissan in 2016

In May 2016, Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors announced a capital increas, and Mitsubishi subscribed to become a shareholder with 34% to 1.9 billion euros. This capital increase was completed in October 2016 for $ 2.29 billion.

In November 2016, KKR to Acquire Calsonic Kansei, an automotive supplier previously owned 40.7% by Nissan, for the equivalent of $ 4.5 billion.

The Japanese manufacturer has passed the milestone of 150 million vehicles produced over 84 years, in September 2017. The car in question is a Nissan Leaf (second generation). Nissan's sales curve has soared in recent years. Indeed, Nissan took 73 years to reach the milestone of 100 million and only 11 years to manufacture 50 million vehicles.

At the end of 2018, Nissan recorded a sharp drop in sales in France with a decline of 10% for the first ten months of the year. The Qashqai, a vehicle representing 40% of Nissan's sales in Europe, symbolizes this drop in sales as it is having difficulty adapting to the new European standards that came into effect on September 1, 2018. Its registrations in Europe fell by 38% in September 2018. In July 2019, following poor results, Nissan announced the cancellation of 12,500 jobs, of which more than 6,000 had already been completed.