While it only officially became known as Nissan Motor Company PTY LTD in 1934, the company had been producing motor cars since 1914. The company’s first car was the DAT, named after the original investors Den, Aoyama and Takeuchi. In was renamed the Datsun in 1932, and in 1937 it became the first motor vehicle to be mass produced in Japan.
Making It Through the War Times
With war looming on the horizon the next year, Nissan shifted production away from passenger cars and began producing trucks and military vehicles for the Japanese army. In addition, they manufactured and assembled plane engines and motors for torpedo boats. With the war done in 1945, allied troops seized and controlled much of the production capabilities of Nissan and other car manufacturers — with Nissan being held for almost a decade.
Nissan really became a big player in the late 1950s and early 1960s thanks to full control back in the hands of the Nissan Motor Company. Research, development, and production quickly came back in full swing. The company began exporting cars to the United States of America in 1958 and set up production in Mexico in 1961 to produce for the American market. Things went so well they won the Deming Prize for engineering excellence in 1960.
Nissan’s Incredible Production
Nissan released the Datsun 150 on to the market in North America in 1957, making it the first four door sports sedan. Nissan began to establish itself as a car manufacturer that produced passenger cars with racing heritage. In 1969 the Datsun Fairlady Z went into to production and became the best selling sports car worldwide.
In 1981, the company began marketing vehicles under the Nissan name, and the company reached the landmark production figure of 30 million units. The number surpassed 40 million units by the mid ‘80s, and in 1990 cumulative production reached over 50 million units. At the end of the decade, they signed with Renault for a mutually-beneficial relationship.
Nissan Going Green
The 2000s saw green issues came to the fore front in car manufacturing, and in 2008 Nissan was endorsed as an Eco First company for its commitment to environmental protection. That commitment to the environment was proven in 2010 when the company introduced the Nissan Leaf, a groundbreaking introduction as the world’s first mass produced, zero emission, 100% electric vehicle.
In 2018, Nissan received the ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year – Sustained Excellence Award for the 7th consecutive year thanks to a strong commitment to reduce CO2 emissions from their vehicles and operations, and for applying ENERGY STAR guidance towards these goals.