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.
Video - Nissan Motor Cars Evolution
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 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.
Nissan Maxima (1981-present)
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)
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.
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.
Nissan Skyline (1957-present)
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
Nissan Sentra (1982-present)
The Nissan Sentra is a car 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)
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)
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)
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)
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
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
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
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
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
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)
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 620 Pickup (1972-1979)
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.
Nissan Frontier - First generation D22 (1997–Present)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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.
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Nissan Motor Cars Through the Years
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