The Datsun-Nissan story

Nissan hasn't always had the name that we are all familar with. Find out its background and the Nissan name we know and love now has been established.

Ever wondered how Nissan became one of the largest automakers in the world? They’ve been on one heck of a journey to get there, and we’re about to reveal all…

Where it all began

If you’re a real car geek, then you’ll know that before Nissan was born in 1933, they went by the name of Datsun, DAT for short. Fun fact, DAT is a reference to the first letters of the family names of the three financiers, Den, Aoyama, and Takeuchi, cute but a great thing to know!

So basically, Datsun originated in Japan, back in 1914, and using the same logic as above, DAT stood for Dream, Access, and Trust. The aim was to provide a sustainable motoring experience and that it did, so much so that Datsun expanded from producing trucks for the military market, to producing smaller cars, like the Datsun Type 11.

How was Nissan created?

When Nissan first started, its vision was mobility for all. It began with the introduction of a lightweight and economical car that could meet the needs of the Japanese people. However, when the United States got its hands on one of the company’s cars, most of them actually kept the Datsun numberplate believe it or not. Strange? Could this have been to disassociate the cars sold there? Either way, by the 1960s, Nissan was well-established in the United States that it even manufactured its first sports car here, the SPL 210!

As time went on, Nissan was selling its cars like there was no tomorrow and even became a top vehicle importer in the United States. As word spread, Nissan became something else and even went into producing some quality high-end models, like the Z sports car.

Things then changed. In order to promote a sense of the company’s globalization, the decision was made from high above that the name of the company needed to be imprinted on all of the cars and not just a selected few. And that was that. Come 1981, the Datsun name was dropped and every company car going forward had the name, Nissan.

Where it is now

With the Nissan brand having been firmly established now across the world, this did come at a cost. A big one! Changing signs was not cheap, some say it was around $30 million. Oh, and then there’s the changing of the company’s slogan too, from “Datsun, We Are Driven!” to “The Name is Nissan”, which cost $200 million. You get the picture, a lot of money went into this and now thousands of Nissan’s roam our streets every day, but which is your favourite?

Our favourites

We all have our favourites when it comes to Nissan, if you don’t then you will do. Here a just a couple of our’s.

Taking it back to the start of Datsun’s Internation success, the Austin 7 has to be up there at the top of our list. This marked a huge success for the company and from 1953 to 1959 Nissan produced 20,855 Austins!

It’s fair to say that Nissan used the Austin 7 to develop its own modern engine designs and in 1967, the Nissan L engine was born. This completely new engine was something else and allowed cars like the Datsun 510, to gain the respect that it deserved. The Austin was a beauty that brought a new lease of life to your everyday engine.

Fast forward to now to one of our most loved third generation, the Nissan Quest. Itis guaranteed to blow you out of the water with its 3.5 litre V6 and 260 horsepower! Before now, we wouldn’t really say that there has been a huge leap in terms of styling and performance but the Quest changed that. It has to be one of the best cars to buy now of all times with its smooth V6 and stunning interior refinement, we know you’re going to love it too.

All in all, Nissan has done pretty well for themselves, especially now that they expanded into electric vehicles. They are well known for their electric cars with the Nissan Leaf being at the top of the list. Overall, Nissan is on top form and is the one to watch in this game of vehicle innovation

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