The history of Nissan (part 2 1950-now)

Cooperation with Austin

  There was obviously a blank in Nissan’s technical development due to the War II. To fill it, Nissan got a technical cooperation agreement with a British automobile manufacturer, Austin Motor Company in 1952. With the agreement, Nissan was not only allowed to produced and marked Austins for 7 years, but also got the rights to use Austin patents for its own engines’ development. These engines were equipped in its Datsun line of cars. Nissan produced 20,855 Austin cars from 1953 to 1959. In 1958, Datsun 210 won the Mobil gas Round Australia Trial, which let Nissan begin to show itself in the world car markets.

datsun 210

Datsun 210

A great time in the 1960s

   In 1959, Nissan released the Datsun Bluebird in Japan, which became an immediate success. It was also destined to be one of Nissan’s most successful models. This is just a beginning of a great time for this Japanese company in the 1960s. In the 1960s, Nissan leveraged Austin’s knowhow by releasing new products for a new generation, featuring in-house technology, such as the Nissan Cedric 30. In 1960, Nissan put more attentions on the American market, setting up its American company, Nissan Motor Corporation U.S.A.. In the next year, Nissan formed another two subsidiaries in Mexico and Australia.

Cedric 30

Cedric 30

   Another big thing happened in the 1960s, was that Nissan merged with the Prince Motor Company, which brought more upmarket cars, like the Skyline and Gloria to the Nissan’s selection. The Skylines and Glorias succeed under the Nissan brand and the ‘Prince’ name was used at the dealership ‘Nissan Prince Shop’ until 1999. This is also the beginning of the GT-R series that was based on the Skyline. Another successive product beginning in the 1960s is the Sunny. The Sunny name was chosen by Nissan from 8 millions public letters in 1966, which is the first time in Japanese history and caused a private car craze in Japan.


1966 Skyline

   When 1964 Summer Olympics was holding in Japan, to attract visitors, Nissan held a competition to choose five candidates as the first class of Nissan Miss Fairladys who introduced cars in its showroom. The Fairlady name became the name of a Datsun, Datsun Fairlady 1500 that eventually became the line of Z cars.


Datsun 240Z

   Thanks to the 1970s oil crisis, customers turned to good small economy cars in the world, which gave great opportunities to Japanese car companies like Nissan to extend their business. Nissan kept a good trend of development in the 1970s and 1980s

 A new beginning for Nissan

After the rapid development from the 1950s to 1980s, Nissan really had a hard time in the 1990s. in 1999, due to severe financial difficulties, Nissan finally got a chance from Renault to survive. The Renault-Nissan Alliance signed on 27 March 1999, of which the two members had different company cultures and brand identities. The same year Renault sent its own COO Carlos Ghosn to Nissan as its COO. He carried out his “Nissan Revival Plan” and it really worked – Nissan got a record profits and the plan revitalized both the Nissan and Infiniti brand. Because of this great achievement, the Japanese government awarded Carlos Ghosn the Japan Medal with Blue Ribbon in 2004.


Carlos Ghosn with Nissan Leaf

 In 2012, Nissan was the sixth largest automaker in the world and the second in Japan.


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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