The history of Nissan (part1 1914-1949)

DAT, the previous company


As beginnings of Datsun name from 1914, Nissan has a longer history compared with other Japanese car manufactories like Toyota and Honda, and it’s even almost as long as ford. But Nissan name hadn’t been used before 1930s. Masujiro Hashimoto founded the Kwaishinsha Motor Car Works in 1911 and its first car called DAT was produced 3 years later, which was acronym of the company’s investors’ surnames. They were Kenjiro Den, Rokuro Aoyama and Meitaro Takeuchi. In 1918 they changed the name of the company to Kwaishinsha Motorcar Co., Ltd. In 1926 they renamed again to DAT Motorcar Co. and next year merged with the Osaka-based Jitsuyo Jidosha Co., Ltd. and a.k.a. Jitsuyo Jidosha Seizo to become DAT Jidosha Seizo Co., Ltd Automobile Manufacturing Co., Ltd.. Then, in 1931 they released a new smaller car, the first “Datson”, meaning “son of DAT”. As “son” means “loss” in Japanese, it was changed to “Datsun” in 1933. The Datsun brand is very famous for the 510, Fairlady roadsters, and later the Fairlady coupes (240Z). But in March 1986, Nissan stopped this brand. Last year, Nissan began to revive the Datsun brand for use in Indonesia, South Africa, India and Russia to compete with some Chinese companies in these markets.


Datsun 1

The first time Nissan came out

The first time that the name Nissan was used was in the 1930s. It is an abbreviation used on Tokyo stock market for the company Nihon Sangyo which was found by Yoshisuke Aikawa in 1928. In 1933, DAT Jidosha Seizo was merged into a Nissan company, Robata Casting, which became the beginning that Nissan manufactured automobile. In the next year, the automobile parts were separated from Tobata Casting to become the Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. which effectively became owned by Nihon Sangyo and Hitachi in June 1934, and it became the first car company that had an integrated assembly system in Japan. What’s more in this year, Datsun began to produce the Austin 7 with the license, which not only became the biggest success of Austin’s overseas licensing of this model, but also is the beginning of Datsun’s global success. They built trucks, airplanes and engines for the Japanese military and in 1937, Nissan moved its main plant to the occupied Manchuria.

During the War II

Because of the World War II, the automobile production of Nissan began to be stopped in 1938 (thanking to the policy of Japanese government), competely stopped in 1943 and didn’t really restart until the end of the war. In the War II, Nissan played a important role of facility supplier for the Japanese military. In 1944, the head office was moved to Nihonbashi, Tokyo, and the company name was changed to Nissan Heavy Industries, Ltd.. When the war ended, the first car produced by Nissan came out in 1945, but because American forbade the production of cars, Nissan had to change their plan to produce trucks. Datsun 1121 truck came into the market in 1946. In 1947, Nissan’s former aircraft engineers created the pioneer of Japan’s electric vehicles called the ‘Tama’. by 1950 had a cumulative total of 1,100 electric vehicles were sold by 1950 under the ‘Tama’ brand, showing a such commercial success at the that time.

nissan tama


Early connection with America

Nissan already had a connection with America in its early years. DAT hired American engineer William R. Gorham who worked for Kubota and greatly affect Nissan’s future. He carried out Aikawa’s plan to use cutting-edge auto making technology from America and help Nissan with its larger vehicles design plan and plant facilities.

In 1949, Nissan Motor Co, Ltd. was reestablished as the company name.


History-Nissan UK  official website

Nissan Stories-Heritage-Nissan Global website

Datsun History

Nissan History Nissan Global

Wikipedia: Nissan Motor Company


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