A Pictorial of Nissan Motor Cars Through the Years
The use of the Datsun name in the American market derives from the name Nissan used for its production cars. In fact, the cars produced by Nissan already used the Datsun brand name, a successful brand in Japan since 1932, long before World War II. Before the entry into the American market in 1958, Nissan did not produce cars under the Nissan brand name, but only trucks. Their in-house-designed cars were always branded as Datsuns. Hence, for Nissan executives it would be only natural to use such a successful name when exporting models to the United States.
"The decision to change the name Datsun to Nissan in the U.S. was announced in the
fall of 1981. The rationale was that the name change would help the pursuit of a global strategy. A single name worldwide would increase the possibility that advertising campaigns, brochures, and promotional materials could be used across countries and simplify product design and manufacturing. Further, potential buyers would be exposed to the name and product when traveling to other countries. Industry observers, however, speculated that the most important motivation was that a name change would help Nissan market stocks and bonds in the U.S. They also presumed substantial ego involvement, since the absence of the Nissan name in the U.S. surely rankled Nissan executives who had seen Toyota and Honda become household words."
Nissan facing extreme financial problems, in 1997 they entered an alliance with Renault S.A. of France
and signed March 27, 1999, the Renault-Nissan Alliance was the first ever of a Japanese and French auto producer, each with its own unmistakable corporate culture and brand identity.
Carlos Ghosn was named the Chief Executive Officer of Nissan in June of 2001. Ghosn was also named President of Renault in May of 2005. He was named President and CEO of Renault on May 6, 2009. Nissan's administration is a diverse trans-cultural team.
Renault-Nissan Alliance has evolved over years as Renault held 43.4% of Nissan shares, while Nissan held 15% of Renault shares. The alliance is incorporated as the Renault-Nissan B.V., established on March 28, 2002 under Dutch law. Renault-Nissan B.V. is owned equally by Renault and Nissan.
Under CEO Ghosn's "Nissan Revival Plan" (NRP), the organization has bounced back in what numerous leading financial analysts consider to be a most spectacular turnarounds in corporate history, catapulting Nissan to record profits and an emotional revitalization of both its Nissan and Infiniti model vehicles. Ghosn has been recognized by Japan for the organization's turnaround amidst a debilitated Japanese economy. Ghosn and the Nissan turnaround were included in Japanese manga and popular culture. His accomplishments in renewing Nissan were noted by the Japanese Government, which granted him the Japan Medal with Blue Ribbon in 2004.
On April 7, 2010, Daimler AG traded a 3.9% share of its holdings for a 3.9% share from both Nissan and Renault. This triple alliance takes into consideration the expanded sharing of innovation and advancement costs, ecouraging worldwide participation and common development.
Nissan was a relatively small automaker when it entered the international market in the 1960s and partnered with Yamaha to design a new sports car prototype to update the Nissan Fairlady. Nissan executives saw the prototype as a halo car that would improve their company's image in the minds of consumers. By 1964, Nissan realized that Yamaha's DOHC 2.0-liter engine was not meeting Nissan's expectations and the project was scrapped. Yamaha later finished a prototype and took their design to Toyota, resulting in the Toyota 2000GT.
Datsun Type 10-17 (1931-1940)
1931 Datsun Type 10 Z
1932 Datsun Type 11 Phaeton
1933 Datsun Type 12 Phaeton
1934 Datsun Type 13
1935 Datsun Type 14
1936 Datsun Type 15
1937 Datsun Type 16
1938 Datsun Type 17
1938 Nissan Model 70 Phaeton
Datsun is an automobile brand owned by Nissan. Datsun's original production run began in 1931. From 1958 to 1986, only vehicles exported by Nissan were identified as Datsun. By 1986 Nissan had phased out the Datsun name, but re-launched it in June 2013 as the brand for low-cost vehicles manufactured for emerging markets.
Datsun DA/DB/DC/DS/DW series (1947-1954)
1947 Datsun DA
1948 Datsun DB
1950 Datsun DS
1952 Datsun Sports DC 3
Nissan resumed automobile production starting in November 1947 with the Datsun DA series, in a resumed engineering cooperation with the British Austin Motor Company, who shared various contributions to Nissan. The DA was a very modest and simple car based on the Type 17, with the slightly larger DB series added in March 1948. Nissan also offered commercial vehicles, and the DA was sold as the Datsun 1121 truck, which was essentially the DA with a shortened cab for the front seat and an exposed cargo area attached to the chassis. An open-top roadster/convertible called the Datsun DC-3 appeared 12 January 1952, largely created by Yuichi Ohta. Yuichi was the son of Hiro Ohta, who founded the Ohta Jidosha car company, which produced cars in Japan between 1934 and 1957, until it became part of Tokyu Kogyo Kurogane shortly thereafter. The Datsun DS appeared in 1950, replacing the DA series.
Datsun 110 Series (1955-1957)
1955 Datsun 110
In 1955 Nissan revamped its passenger car products, begn with the Datsun Sedan 110 series. It was introduced to Japan within a month of the introduction of the Toyota Crown RS series, and was smaller than the Prince Sedan introduced earlier in 1952 and the Subaru 1500 introduced in 1955. Sedans built in Japan during the 1950s were introduced to serve as taxis, and introduced mass production vehicles, as opposed to earlier vehicles made using a slower hand-made process.
Datsun 810 Series (1977-1981)
1977 Datsun 810
1981 Datsun 810 Maxima
The Datsun 810 is a mid-size car that was sold in North America by the Japanese automobile manufacturer Datsun between February 1977 and 1981. Datsun based the first generation—sold for model years 1977 to 1980—on the four-cylinder Datsun Bluebird (810), but with a longer engine bay to accommodate larger straight-six engines. These original 810s were available as a sedan and station wagon initially, with a coupe introduced in January 1979 for the 1979 model year.
Second generation models were sold between 1980 and 1981 for the 1981 model year only. Derived from the Datsun Bluebird (910), both sedan and wagon body types were offered. These second generation cars were renamed in 1981 for the 1982 model year as Datsun Maxima.
Nissan Maxima (1981-present)
2011 Nissan Maxima
2019 Nissan Maxima
The Nissan Maxima is a mid-size car manufactured by Nissan and sold primarily in North America, the Middle East, and China. Making its sales debut in 1981 for the 1982 model year as the Datsun Maxima, it replaced the earlier Datsun
810. The name "Maxima" dates back to 1980 for the 1981 model year when the
upscale 810 sold as the "810 Maxima" in North America. The Datsun brand was phased out in favor of Nissan in 1984 for the 1985 model year, thus becoming the Nissan Maxima.
Nissan Mid Size
Nissan Altima (1992-present)
1993 Nissan Altima
2019 Nissan Altima
The Altima has historically been larger, more powerful, and more luxurious than the Nissan Sentra but less so than the Nissan Maxima. The first through fourth generation cars were manufactured exclusively in the United States and officially sold in North and South America, along with the Middle East and Australia. For other markets, Nissan sold a related mid-size sedan called the Nissan Teana which was between the Altima and Maxima in terms of size. In 2013, the Teana became a rebadged version of the fifth generation Altima.
Datsun 200SX (1964–1968)
Datsun/Nissan 240SX (1974-2002)
1980 Datsun 240SX
1989 Nissan 240SX
The Nissan Silvia is the name given to the company's long-running line of sport coupes based on the Nissan S platform. Although recent models have shared this chassis with other vehicles produced by Nissan (most notably the European 200SX and North American 240SX in the S13 and S14 generations, and 180SX in the Japanese market), the name Silvia is interchangeable with the chassis codes. The Nissan Silvia's main competitors worldwide were the Honda Prelude, Mazda MX-6, Toyota Celica, Mitsubishi Eclipse, Isuzu Impulse,Toyota Corolla, Subaru Impreza, and Honda Integra.
Datsun 1200 (1970–1973)
1973 Datson 1200
1981 Datson 1200
The second-generation Sunny was launched in 1970 and was also known as the Datsun 1200. This new model was slightly larger in all dimensions to match its market rival, the equally popular Toyota Corolla.
It later became the Nissan Sentra
Datsun K Series/Nissan Skyline (1957-present)
1969 Nissan Skyline
2007 Nissan Skyline 350 GT Hybrid
Also sold as the Datsun K Series (1972-1977).
The Nissan Skyline is a line of compact cars, sports cars and compact executive cars originally produced by the Prince Motor Company starting in 1957, and then by Nissan after the two companies merged in 1967. After the merger, the Skyline and its larger counterpart, the Nissan Gloria, were sold in Japan at dealership sales channels called Nissan Prince Shop.
The Nissan Skyline is a coupe, convertible, sports car, and crossover. It was released in 1957 by Prince Motor Company, not Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. In 1966, Prince Motor was merged into Nissan, which became Nissan's model. The high-performance version of the Nissan Skyline GT-R , but later in 2007, was separated into
The 210 was available in North America as a two- or four-door sedan, a five-door wagon (the sloping fastback style), or as a three-door hatchback coupé. At the time of introduction all models, excepting the wagon with the automatic transmission, received the carryover 1.4 liter A14 engine with 65 hp (48 kW). The automatic wagon (soon all wagons) received the somewhat larger A15 engine with 67 hp (50 kW)
The Nissan Sentra has been produced since 1982. Originally subcompact in classification, for model year 2000 it was reclassified as a compact car. Until 2006, Sentra was a rebadged export version of the Japanese Nissan Sunny, but since the 2013 model year
In North America, the Sentra currently serves as Nissan's compact car, despite being rated as a mid-size car by the EPA due to its interior volume since the 2007 model year. While previous Sentras were subcompacts, the Sentra has grown over the years, with the Nissan Versa having replaced the Sentra in the entry-level area.
Nissan Leaf (2010-present)
2010 Nissan Leaf
2018 Nissan Leaf
2019 Nissan Leaf
The Nissan Leaf is a compact five-door hatchback electric car introduced in Japan and the United States in December 2010, followed by various European countries and Canada in 2011. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) official range for the 2018 model year Leaf is 151 miles on a full battery charge. The battery can be charged from empty to 80% capacity in about 30 minutes using DC fast charging.
As an all-electric car, the Nissan Leaf produces no tailpipe pollution or greenhouse gas emissions, and contributes to reduced dependence on petroleum. Like other electric vehicles, the Leaf is also generally cheaper to fuel than traditional gasoline and hybrid cars. Among other awards and recognition, the Nissan Leaf has won the 2010 Green Car Vision Award, the 2011 European Car of the Year, the 2011 World Car of the Year, and the 2011–2012 Car of the Year Japan.
Nissan Sports Cars
Datson Sports (1959-1970)
1965 Datsun 1500 Roadster
1970 Datsun Sports 1600 Roadster
The Datsun Sports (called Datsun Fairlady in the Japanese and Australian markets), was a series of roadsters produced by Nissan in the 1960s. The series was a predecessor to the Z-car in the Fairlady line, and offered a competitor to the European MG, Triumph, Fiat and Alfa Romeo sports cars. The line began with the 1959 S211 and continued through 1970 with the SP311 and SR311 lines.
Datson 1000, 1300, 1500, 1600 and 2000.
Z Cars (1969-present)
The Nissan Z- sports car has been manufactured by Nissan Motors Ltd, in six generations, since 1969.
The original Z was sold from October 1969 in Japan, as the Nissan Fairlady Z, at Nissan Exhibition dealerships that previously sold the Nissan Bluebird. It was exported as the Datsun 240Z. Since 2009, Nissan has manufactured the newest Z, the Nissan 370Z.
First generation: Datsun 240Z -1969-1974 (S30)
1970 datsun 240Z
1971 datsun 240Z
The 240Z was released in America on October 22, 1969. Combining good looks, and powerful performance, it sold over 45,000 units through the '71 model year and over 50,000 and 40,000 in 1972 and 1973, respectively.
Datsun 260Z (1974-1978)
1975 Datsun 260z 2+2
1978 Datsun 260Z
The 260Z was released in 1974; it featured an increased engine displacement of 2.6 L and an available 2+2 model with a slightly longer wheelbase. Despite the engine size increase, power decreased to 139 hp (SAE net horsepower) in most areas of the US due to new camshafts, carburetors, and lower compression that were introduced to comply with new emissions regulations. In other export regions, the power was increased to 154 hp.
Second generation: Datsun 280Z (1978-1983) S130
1979 Datsun 280z 2+2
1983 Datsun 280ZX
The Datsun 280Z was released in 1975 in North America (not to be confused with the 280ZX, which is a second-generation Z-car) and featured another engine displacement enlargement to 2.8 L. A major change was the introduction of Bosch fuel injection, replacing the previous SU carburetors. This resulted in a power increase to 170 hp (SAE gross horsepower), offsetting increased weight from added luxury features and an enlarged bumper that met US Federal regulations. Export markets outside North America continued to receive the Datsun 260Z until the introduction of the Datsun 280ZX at the end of 1978.
Third generation: Datson/Nissan 300ZX (1984-1988) Z31
1984 Datsun 300ZX
1988 Nissan 300ZX
All US-market 1984 model Nissan vehicles carried both Datsun and Nissan nameplates. Along with the arrival of their new flagship sports coupe, Nissan launched an aggressive marketing campaign to promote the brand name change from Datsun to Nissan. The 1984 Models can technically be considered the only year of the "Datsun
300ZX". For the 1985 model year, Nissan dropped the Datsun name brand for good, but the car dealers were still known as Datsun dealers
Fourth generation: Nissan 300ZX (1989-2000) Z32
1989 Datsun 300ZX
1998 Nissan 300ZX
Sold in Japan from 1983 to 2001 and in the United States from 1984 through 1996, the 300ZX name followed the numerical convention initiated with the original Z car, the Nissan S30, which was marketed in the U.S. as the 240Z. The addition of the "X" to the car's name was a carryover from its predecessor, the 280ZX, and signified the presence, either standard or optional, of rear seats.
Fifth generation: Nissan 350Z (2003-2009) Z33
2003 Nissan 350Z
2009 Nissan 350Z Roadster
The Nissan 350Z (known as Nissan Fairlady Z in Japan) is a two-door, two-seater sports car that was manufactured by Nissan Motors from 2002 to 2009 and marks the fifth generation of Nissan's Z-car line. The 350Z entered production in late 2002 and was sold and marketed as a 2003 model. The first year there was only a coupe, as the roadster did not debut until the following year. Initially, the coupe came in Base, Enthusiast, Performance, Touring and Track versions, while the Roadster was limited to Enthusiast and Touring trim levels. The Track trim came with lightweight wheels and Brembo brakes, but its suspension tuning was the same as all other coupes. The Nissan 350Z has been succeeded by the 370Z since the 2009 model year.
Sixth generation: Nissan 370Z (2009-present) Z34
2013 Nissan 370Z Coupe
2019 Nissan 370Z Heritage Edition
On December 30, 2008 the 370Z was introduced as a 2009 model. In June 2009, the second generation 2009 Nismo 370Z debuted. This was followed by the introduction of the 2010 370Z Roadster in late summer of 2009
Nissan GT-R (2007-present)
2017 Nissan GT-R Nismo
2019 Nissan GT-R
2020 Nissan GTR R36
The Nissan GT-R is a 2-door 2+2 high performance vehicle produced by Nissan, unveiled in 2007. It is the successor to the Nissan Skyline GT-R, although no longer part of the Skyline range itself, that name now being used for Nissan's luxury-sport market.
Datson 120-126 Pickup (1956-1961)
1955 Datsun 120 Pickup
The Datsun 120 was a load carrying bodystyle version of the Datsun 1000 sedan (110 series), and was introduced in January 1955 as the latest Datsun truck with up-to-date styling. Delivery van, panel van (120 only), and double cab versions were available. Until 1959 it used the 25 hp, 860 cc Nissan D10 engine with a four-speed floor shift (column shift for the 123 and later versions) manual transmission. It was joined with a larger commercially focused vehicle called the Nissan Junior.
Datson 220 Pickup (1957-1961)
1959 Datsun 220 Pickup
In November 1957 the type 220 was introduced. Largely unchanged in appearance from the 120-series, which continued to be built as a cheaper version, it was produced from 1957 to 1961. During this time four models were produced: 220 (1957–1958), 221 (1958–1959), 222 (1960), and 223 (1961). The chassis was based on the 210 series sedans. Two engines were available: the 37 hp Nissan C engine, and the 48 hp Nissan E engine. The E engine was originally only used in models sold on the export market. The 223 was powered by a new engine, the Nissan E-1, rated at 60 hp. The 220 was the first Datsun truck to be equipped with a 12 volt electrical system.
Datson 320 Pickup (1962-1965)
1964 Datsun 320 Pickup
1965 Datsun 320 Pickup
In August 1961 the new 320 series was released. It was produced until 1965 in three series (320–322). The 320 series was largely inherited from the earlier 120/220, although with clear improvements to body and frame. It used the Nissan E-1 engine. This engine produced 60 PS. Nissan updated the larger commercially focused Nissan Junior in 1962.
Datson 520 Pickup (1965-1972)
1965 Datsun 520 Pickup
1967 Datsun 520 Pickup
The Datsun 520 was built from 1965 until May 1968 (the 420 designation was skipped). It used the new 1.3 litre, 67 hp Nissan J13. In 1965 and 1966 the 520 had two single headlights. For 1967, the 520 was slightly redesigned and had twin headlights. This design was carried on until the end of 520 production. Single cab (520, and L520 for left-hand drive version), LWB Single cab (G520), Double cab (U520) and delivery van (V520) versions were available. "G" was used to identify the long wheelbase versions. The fender emblems said "Datsun 1300". A grille emblem was added in 1966 and simply said "D". In late 1967 a slightly altered model appeared, now with a slightly changed chrome grille with a distinct frame
Datson 620 Pickup (1972-1979)
1972 Datsun 620 Pickup
1974 Datsun 620 Pickup
1979 Datsun 620 Pickup
The Datsun 620 truck was released in February of 1972 and was in production until 1979. It was a regular cab truck (a longer "King Cab" (Nissan's trademark for their extended cab trucks) version was released in 1977) and two wheelbases were offered, for a total of six different models. In most of the world the 620 was equipped with the J15, producing 77 hp and a claimed top speed of 84 mph. A 2.2 liter diesel engine with 66 hp was later made available in many markets.
The 620 was also the first Datsun pickup truck to be available with a longer "King Cab" passenger compartment (called "Custom" in Japan). This used the bed from the normal 620 truck, but has a cabin stretched by
10 inches, all placed on the longer wheelbase.
Datsun/Nissan 720 Pickup (1980–1986)
1980 Datsun 720 Pickup
1986 Nissan 720 Pickup
In 1980, Nissan introduced the Datsun 720 as successor to the 620. In the US, the 720 came in regular cab and "King Cab" models, with regular and long bed options with standard (GL), deluxe (DX), and "Sport Truck" (ST) trim packages, all of which had two doors. In addition, from 1984 to 1986 a covered utility body style like that of the first generation 4Runner was available as an aftermarket conversion by a company called Matrix3 called the Bushmaster.
Nissan D21 Pickup (1993–2008)
1993 Nissan D21 Pickup
The D21 generation was the successor to the Datsun 720, sold as the Nissan Datsun Truck in Japan. The name Navara was used in some markets such as Australia.
Unlike previous generations, this model was available worldwide in two body styles. The "A" body was designed in Japan, and was available in single or dual cab variants, while the "S" body King Cab was designed in the United States, at Nissan's styling studios in San Diego, California. Each version had unique front styling, with the American version having a different hood, and wider flared front guards. In a few countries, such as Australia, both versions were sold. This was also assembled in Greece for the local market, where it was marketed as the Nissan Pickup and King Cab
Nissan Frontier - First generation D22 (1997–Present)
1993 Nissan Pickup
2018 Nissan Frontier
2019 Nissan Frontier
The D22 is a compact size pick up truck manufactured from 1997 to 2004. However, Nissan continued to build the D22 as a cheaper alternative to the D40 in many markets. Originally planned to follow the D21 Hard Body in being designed by Nissan Design International in La Jolla, CA,
Nissan Titan - First generation (2003–2015)
2006 Nissan Titan King Cab
2014 Nissan Titan
2015 Nissan Titan
The Nissan Titan is a full-size pickup truck manufactured in the United States for the North American market by Nissan. It was named for the Titans of Greek mythology.
Nissan Titan - Second generation (2016–present)
2016 Nissan Titan
2018 Nissan Titan
2019 Nissan Titan
Nissan unveiled the second generation Titan at the 2015 North American International Auto Show. The second generation Titan was designed in California, engineered in Michigan, tested in Arizona, and is assembled in Mississippi. The V8 Cummins is built in Indiana and Tennessee.
Nissan Rogue (2008-present)
2008 Nissan Rogue SUV
2017 Nissan Rogue Sport SUV
2019 Nissan Rogue SUV
For the first generation, the Qashqai was sold under the name Nissan Dualis in Japan and Australia. Now in its second generation, which was released in 2014, the new model is only badged as Qashqai, except in the United States where it is rebadged as the Nissan Rogue Sport.
Nissan Pathfinder (1986-present)
1989 Nissan Pathfinder
2015 Nissan Pathfinder
2019 Nissan Pathfinder
The Nissan Pathfinder is a mid-size SUV manufactured by Nissan since 1986, originally sharing Nissan's compact pickup truck platform, and now in its fourth generation.
Nissan Xterra (1999-2015)
1999 Nissan Xterra
2014 Nissan Xterra
2015 Nissan Xterra
The Nissan Xterra is a front-engine, 2-wheel or 4-wheel drive, five-door, five passenger, truck-based compact SUV manufactured and marketed by Nissan Motors from 1999-2015 across two generations; the first (1999-2004) sharing a platform as well as front bumper, hood, A-pillar, windshield and front doors with the Nissan Frontier pickup — and the second (2005-2015) also sharing its platform with the Frontier.
Nissan Murano (2003-present)
2003 Nissan Murano Z50
2015 Nissan Murano
2019 Nissan Murano
The Nissan Murano is a front engine, five door mid-size crossover manufactured and marketed by Nissan since May 2002 as a model for 2003, and now in its third generation — with a convertible variant, the Cross Cabriolet, available for the model years of 2011 to 2014.
As Nissan's first crossover SUV for the United States and Canada, the Murano was designed at Nissan America in La Jolla, California, and was based on the Nissan FF-L platform shared with the third generation Altima
Nissan Kicks (2016-present)
2016 Nissan Kicks
2018 Nissan Kicks
2019 Nissan Kicks
The Nissan Kicks (P15) is a subcompact crossover SUV produced by Nissan since 2016. Originally unveiled as a concept in 2014, the car was showcased across Brazil during summer 2016 to promote the Summer Olympics, of which Nissan was a lead sponsor.
The Kicks replaces the Nissan Juke in the United States.
Get Your Very Own Nissan Scale Models
2009 Nissan 370Z Scale Model Shown
Approx. 7-1/2" Long
Scaled replicas of cars and trucks
Die-cast metal body with plastic details
Opening doors on all - some with opening hoods and trunks