Top 100 Brand in The World – Rank no.65 – Nissan Motor – Japan
|Traded as||TYO: 7201
OTC Pink: NSANY
|Founded||26 December 1933|
|Headquarters||Nishi-ku, Yokohama, Japan
(Officially registered in Kanagawa-ku, Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture)
|Key people||Carlos Ghosn (Chairman, President & CEO)
Toshiyuki Shiga (COO)
|Products||Automobiles, Outboard motors,Forklift trucks|
|Production output||4,889,379 units (2012)|
|Revenue||¥9.63 trillion (2012)|
|Operating income||¥523.5 billion (2012)|
|Profit||¥342.4 billion (2012)|
|Total assets||¥12.8 trillion (2012)|
|Total equity||¥4.51 trillion (2012)|
Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. (日産自動車株式会社 Nissan Jidōsha Kabushiki-gaisha?) (TYO: 7201), usually shortened to Nissan(/ˈniːsɑːn/ or UK /ˈnɪsæn/; Japanese: [nisːaɴ]), is a Japanese multinational automaker headquartered in Nishi-ku, Yokohama, Japan.
Nissan was the sixth largest automaker in the world behind Toyota, General Motors, Volkswagen Group, Hyundai Motor Group, andFord in 2012. It formerly marketed vehicles under the “Datsun" brand name. In July 2013, Nissan announced the relaunch of Datsun as a brand targeted at emerging markets. As of 2011, the company’s global headquarters is located in Nishi-ku, Yokohama. In 1999, Nissan entered a two way alliance with Renault S.A. of France, which owns 43.4% of Nissan, while Nissan holds 15% of Renault shares, as of 2008. Along with its normal range of models, Nissan also produces a range of luxury models branded as Infiniti.
Beginnings of Datsun name from 1914
Masujiro Hashimoto founded the Kwaishinsha Motor Car Works in 1911. In 1914, the company produced its first car, called DAT.
- Kenjiro Den (田 健次郎 Den Kenjirō?)
- Rokuro Aoyama (青山 禄郎 Aoyama Rokurō?)
- Meitaro Takeuchi (竹内 明太郎 Takeuchi Meitarō?).
It was renamed to Kwaishinsha Motorcar Co., Ltd. in 1918, and again to DAT Jidosha & Co., Ltd. (DAT Motorcar Co.) in 1925. DAT Motors built trucks in addition to the DAT and Datsun passenger cars. The vast majority of its output were trucks, due to an almost non- existent consumer market for passenger cars at the time. Beginning in 1918, the first DAT trucks were produced for the military market. At the same time, Jitsuyo Jidosha Co., Ltd. produced small trucks using parts, and materials imported from the United States.
In 1926 the Tokyo-based DAT Motors merged with the Osaka-based Jitsuyo Jidosha Co., Ltd. (実用自 動車製造株式会社 Jitsuyō Jidōsha Seizō Kabushiki-Gaisha?) a.k.a. Jitsuyo Jidosha Seizo (established 1919, as a Kubota subsidiary) to become DAT Jidosha Seizo Co., Ltd Automobile Manufacturing Co., Ltd. (ダット自動車製造株式会社 DAT Jidōsha Seizō Kabushiki-Gaisha?) in Osaka until 1932. From 1923 to 1925, the company produced light cars and trucks under the name of Lila.
In 1931, DAT came out with a new smaller car, the first “Datson", meaning “Son of DAT". Later in 1933 after Nissan took control of DAT Motors, the last syllable of Datson was changed to “sun", because “son" also means “loss" (損) in Japanese, hence the name “Datsun“(ダットサン Dattosan?).
Nissan name first used in 1930s
In 1928, Yoshisuke Aikawa founded the holding company Nihon Sangyo (Japan Industries or Nihon Industries). The name ‘Nissan’ originated during the 1930s as an abbreviation  used on the Tokyo stock market for Nihon Sangyo. This company was the famous Nissan “Zaibatsu" (combine) which included Tobata Casting and Hitachi. At this time Nissan controlled foundries and auto parts businesses, but Aikawa did not enter automobile manufacturing until 1933.
In 1931, DAT Jidosha Seizo became affiliated with Tobata Casting, and was merged into Tobata Casting in 1933. As Tobata Casting was a Nissan company, this was the beginning of Nissan’s automobile manufacturing.
Nissan Motor founded in 1934
In 1934, Aikawa separated the expanded automobile parts division of Tobata Casting and incorporated it as a new subsidiary, which he named Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. (日産自動車Nissan Jidōsha?). The shareholders of the new company however were not enthusiastic about the prospects of the automobile in Japan, so Aikawa bought out all the Tobata Casting shareholders (using capital from Nihon Industries) in June 1934. At this time, Nissan Motor effectively became owned by Nihon Sangyo and Hitachi.
In 1934, construction of its Yokohama plant was completed. 44 Datsuns were shipped to Asia, Central and South America. In 1935, the first car manufactured by an integrated assembly system rolled off the line at the Yokohama plant. Nissan built trucks, airplanes, and engines for the Japanese military. In 1937, the company’s main plant was moved to the occupied Manchuria, and named Manchuria Heavy Industries Developing Co.
In 1940, first knockdown kits were shipped to Dowa Jidosha Kogyo (Dowa Automobile), one of MHID’s companies, for assembly. In 1944, the head office was moved to Nihonbashi, Tokyo, and the company name was changed to Nissan Heavy Industries, Ltd., which the company kept through 1949.
Nissan’s early American connection
DAT had inherited Kubota‘s chief designer, American engineer William R. Gorham. This, along with Aikawa’s 1908 visit to Detroit, was to greatly affect Nissan’s future.Although it had always been Aikawa’s intention to use cutting-edge auto making technology from America, it was Gorham that carried out the plan. Most of the machinery and processes originally came out of the United States. When Nissan started to assemble larger vehicles under the “Nissan” brand in 1937, much of the design plans and plant facilities were supplied by the Graham-Paige Company. Nissan also had a Graham license under which passenger cars, buses and trucks were made.
Austin Motor Company
From 1934 Datsun began to build Austin Sevens under licence. This operation became the greatest success of Austin‘s overseas licensing of its Seven and marked the beginning of Datsun’s international success.
In 1952, Nissan Motor Company of Japan entered into a legal agreement with Austin,for Nissan to assemble 2,000 Austins from imported partially assembled sets and sell them in Japan under the Austin trademark. The agreement called for Nissan to make all Austin parts locally within three years, a goal Nissan met. Nissan produced and marketed Austins for seven years. The agreement also gave Nissan rights to use Austin patents, which Nissan used in developing its own engines for its Datsun line of cars. In 1953, British-built Austins were assembled and sold, but by 1955, the Austin A50 – completely built by Nissan and featuring a new 1489 cc engine—was on the market in Japan. Nissan produced 20,855 Austins from 1953–1959.
Nissan leveraged the Austin patents to further develop their own modern engine designs past what the Austin’s A- and B-family designs offered. The apex of the Austin-derived engines was the new design A series engine in 1966. In 1967, Nissan introduced its new highly advanced four cylinder overhead cam (OHC) Nissan L engine, which while similar toMercedes-Benz OHC designs was a totally new engine designed by Nissan. This engine powered the new Datsun 510, which gained Nissan respect in the worldwide sedan market. Then, in 1969 Nissan introduced the Datsun 240Z sports car which used a six-cylinder variation of the L series engine. The 240Z was an immediate sensation and lifted Nissan to world class status in the automobile market.
Merger with Prince Motor Company
In 1966, Nissan merged with the Prince Motor Company, bringing more upmarket cars, including the Skyline and Gloria, into its selection. The Prince name was eventually abandoned, and successive Skylines and Glorias bore the Nissan name. “Prince," was used at the Japanese Nissan dealership “Nissan Prince Shop" until 1999, when “Nissan Red Stage" replaced it. Nissan Red Stage itself has been replaced as of 2007. The Skyline lives on as the G Series of Infiniti.
To capitalize the renewed investment during 1964 Summer Olympics, Nissan established the gallery on the second and third floors of the San-ai building. To attract visitors, Nissan started using beautiful female showroom attendants where Nissan held a competition to choose five candidates as the first class of Nissan Miss Fairladys, modeled after “Datsun Demonstrators" from the 1930s who introduced cars. The Fairlady name was used as a link to the popular Broadway play of the era. Miss Fairladys became the marketers of Datsun Fair Lady 1500.
In April 2008, 14 more Miss Fairlady candidates were added, for a total of 45 Nissan Miss Fairlady pageants (22 in Ginza, 8 in Sapporo, 7 in Nagoya, 7 in Fukuoka).
In April 2012, 7 more Miss Fairlady candidates were added, for a total of 48 Nissan Miss Fairlady pageants (26 in Ginza, 8 in Sapporo, 7 in Nagoya, 7 in Fukuoka).
In April 2013, 6 more Miss Fairlady candidates were added to Ginza showroom, for a total of 27 48th Ginza Nissan Miss Fairlady pageants.
In the 1950s, Nissan decided to expand into worldwide markets. Nissan management realized their Datsun small car line would fill an unmet need in markets such as Australia and the world’s largest car market, the United States. They first showed cars at the 1958 Los Angeles Auto Show and sold a few that year in the United States. The company formed a U.S. subsidiary, Nissan Motor Corporation U.S.A., in 1960, headed by Yutaka Katayama.< Nissan continued to improve their sedans with the latest technological advancements and chic Italianate styling in sporty cars such as the Datsun Fairlady roadsters, the race-winning 411 series, the Datsun 510 and the world-class Datsun 240Z. By 1970, Nissan had become one of the world’s largest exporters of automobiles.
In the wake of the 1973 oil crisis, consumers worldwide (especially in the lucrative U.S. market) began turning to high-quality small economy cars. To meet the growing demand, the company built new factories in Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, Taiwan and South Africa. The “Chicken Tax" of 1964 placed a 25% tax on commercial vans imported to the United Staes. In response, Nissan, Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co. began building plants in the U.S. in the early 80s. Nissan’s initial assembly plant, in Smyrna, Tennessee, at first built only trucks such as the 720and Hardbody, but has since expanded to produce several car and SUV lines, including the Altima, Maxima, Xterra, Pathfinder and LEAF. An engine plant in Decherd, Tennessee followed, most recently a second assembly plant was established in Canton, Mississippi. In order to overcome export tariffs and delivery costs to its European customers, Nissan contemplated establishing a plant in Europe. After an extensive review, Sunderland in the north east of England was chosen for its skilled workforce and its locarion near major ports. The plant was completed in 1986 as the subsidiary Nissan Motor Manufacturing (UK) Ltd. By 2007, it was producing 400,000 vehicles per year, landing it the title of the most productive plant in Europe.
In 2001, Nissan established a manufacturing plant in Brazil. In 2005, Nissan added operations in India, through its subsidiary Nissan Motor India Pvt. Ltd. With its global alliance partner, Renault, Nissan invested $990 million to set up a manufacturing facility in Chennai, catering to the Indian market as well as a base for exports of small cars to Europe. Nissan entered the Middle East market in 1957 when it sold its first car in Saudi Arabia. Nissan sold nearly 520,000 new vehicles in China in 2009 in a joint venture with Dongfeng Motor. To meet increased production targets, Dongfeng-Nissan expanded its production base in Guangzhou, which would become Nissan’s largest factory around the globe in terms of production capacity.
Relationships with other car companies
From 1993 to 2002, Nissan partnered with Ford to market the Mercury Villager and the Nissan Quest. The two minivans were virtually identical aside from cosmetic differences. In 2002, Nissan and Ford announced the discontinuation of the arrangement.
- Alfa Romeo
From 1983 to 1987, Nissan cooperated with Alfa Romeo to build the Arna. The goal was for Alfa to compete in the family hatchback market segment, and for Nissan to establish a foothold in the European market. After Alfa Romeo’s takeover by Fiat, car and cooperation were discontinued.
Alliance with Renault
Signed on 27 March 1999, the Renault-Nissan Alliance is the first of its kind involving a Japanese and French car manufacturer, each with its own distinct corporate culture and brand identity. The same year, Renault appointed its own chief operating officer, Carlos Ghosn, as chief operating officer of Nissan and took a 22.5% stake in Nissan Diesel. Later that year, Nissan fired its top Japanese executives.
The Renault-Nissan Alliance has evolved over years to Renault holding 44.3% of Nissan shares, while Nissan holds 15% of Renault shares. The alliance itself is incorporated as the Renault-Nissan B.V., founded on March 28, 2002 under Dutch law. Renault-Nissan B.V. is equally owned by Renault and Nissan. 
Under CEO Ghosn’s “Nissan Revival Plan" (NRP), the company has rebounded in what many leading economists consider to be one of the most spectacular corporate turnarounds in history, catapulting Nissan to record profits and a dramatic revitalization of both its Nissan and Infiniti model line-ups. Ghosn has been recognized in Japan for the company’s turnaround in the midst of an ailing Japanese economy. Ghosn and the Nissan turnaround were featured in Japanese manga and popular culture. His achievements in revitalizing Nissan were noted by the Japanese Government, which awarded him the Japan Medal with Blue Ribbon in 2004.
On 7 April 2010, Daimler AG exchanged a 3.9% share of its holdings for 3.9% from both Nissan and Renault. This triple alliance allows for the increased sharing of technology and development costs, encouraging global cooperation and mutual development.
|Alliance 2012 sales|
Taken together, the Renault–Nissan Alliance would be the fourth largest automaker with 2012 sales of 8,101,310 units.
Presidents and chief executive Officers of Nissan:
- 1933–1939 Yoshisuke Aikawa
- 1939–1942 Masasuke Murakami
- 1942–1944 Genshichi Asahara
- 1944–1945 Haruto Kudo
- 1945 Takeshi Murayama
- 1945–1947 Souji Yamamoto
- 1947–1951 Taichi Minoura
- 1951–1957 Genshichi Asahara
- 1957–1973 Katsuji Kawamata
- 1973–1977 Tadahiro Iwakoshi
- 1977–1985 Takashi Ishihara
- 1985–1992 Yutaka Kume
- 1992–1996 Yoshifume Tsuji
- 1996–2000 Yoshikazu Hanawa
- 2000–present Carlos Ghosn
Nissan has produced an extensive range of mainstream cars and trucks, initially for domestic consumption but exported around the world since the 1950s. There was a major strike in 1953.
It also produced several memorable sports cars, including the Datsun Fairlady 1500, 1600 and 2000 Roadsters, the Z-car, an affordable sports car originally introduced in 1969; and the GT-R, a powerful all-wheel-drive sports coupe.
Until 1983, Nissan automobiles in most export markets were sold under the Datsun brand. In 1984 the Datsun brand was phased out and the Nissan brand was phased in. All cars in 1984 had both the Datsun and Nissan branding on them and in 1985 the Datsun name was completely dropped. Since 1989, Nissan has sold its luxury models in North America under the Infiniti brand.
Nissan also sells a small range of kei cars, mainly as a joint venture with other Japanese manufacturers like Suzuki or Mitsubishi. Nissan does not develop these cars. Nissan also has shared model development of Japanese domestic cars with other manufacturers, particularly Mazda, Subaru, Suzuki and Isuzu.
In China, Nissan produces cars in association with the Dongfeng Motor Group including the 2006 Nissan Livina Geniss. This is the first in the range of a new worldwide family of medium sized cars and is to make its world debut at the Guangzhou International Motor Show.
In 2010, Nissan created another tuning division,IPL, this time for their premium/luxury brand Infiniti.
In 2011, after Nissan released the Nissan NV-Series in the United States, Canada, and Mexico, Nissan created a commercial sub brand called Nissan Commercial Vehicles which focuses on commercial vans, pickup trucks, and fleet vehicles for the US, Canadian, and Mexican Markets.
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As of 2007 in Japan, Nissan sells its products with internationally recognized “Nissan" signage, using a chrome circle with “Nissan" across the front.
Previously, Nissan used two dealership names called “Nissan Blue Stage" (ja:日産・ブルーステージ?), “Nissan Red Stage" (ja:日産・レッドステージ?), and “Nissan Red and Blue Stage" (ja:日産・レッド&ブルーステージ?), established in 1999. Before that, Nissan Red Stage was the result of combining an older sales channel of dealerships under the names “Nissan Prince Store" (ja:日産・プリンス店?), established in 1966 after the merger of Prince Motors by Nissan, which sold the Nissan Skyline, “Nissan Satio Store" (日産・サティオ店?), which sold cars developed from the Nissan Sunny at its introduction in 1966, and “Nissan Cherry Store" (日産・チェリー店?), cars associated with the Nissan Cherry and established in 1970.
Nissan Blue Stage was the result of combining older sales channels, called “Nissan Store" (ja:日産店?), then renamed “Nissan Bluebird Store" in 1959, selling cars associated with the Nissan Bluebird, and “Nissan Motor Store" (日産・モーター店?), for cars associated with the Nissan Laurel starting in 1968. In 1970, Nissan also set up a separate sales chain which sold used cars including auctions, called Nissan U-Cars (ja:日産ユーズドカーセンター?), which they still maintain.
In the early days of Nissan’s dealership network, Japanese consumers were directed towards specific Nissan stores for cars that were of a specific size and pricepoint. Over time as sales progressed and the Japanese automotive industry became more prolific, vehicles that were dedicated to particular stores were badge engineered, given different names, and shared within the existing networks thereby selling the same platforms at different locations.
Starting in 1960, another sales distribution channel was established that sold diesel products for commercial use, called Nissan Diesel until the diesel division was sold in 2007 toVolvo AB. To encourage retail sales, Nissan passenger vehicles that were installed with diesel engines, like the Cedric, were available at Nissan Diesel locations.
- All cars sold at Nissan Blue Stage (1999–2005):
Nissan Fairlady Z, Nissan Serena, Nissan Cedric, Nissan Liberty, Nissan Cefiro, Nissan Laurel, Nissan President, Nissan Bluebird, Nissan Presage, Nissan Presea, Nissan Terrano, Nissan Leopard, Nissan Avenir, Nissan Truck, Nissan Hypermini, Nissan Caravan
- All cars sold at Nissan Bluebird Shop (later Nissan Shop, Nissan Exhibition), Nissan Motor Shop, (1959–1999):
- All cars sold at Nissan Red Stage (1999–2005):
Nissan X-Trail. Nissan Teana, Nissan Cima, Nissan Bluebird Sylphy, Nissan Crew, Nissan Skyline, Nissan Civilian, Nissan Silvia, Nissan Tino, Nissan Gloria, Nissan Pulsar,Nissan Sunny, Nissan R’nessa, Nissan Rasheen, Nissan Bassara, Nissan Primera, Nissan Mistral, Nissan Presea, Nissan Stagea, Nissan Advan, Nissan Largo, Nissan Vanette,Nissan Clipper, Nissan Homy, Nissan Elgrand, Nissan Safari, Nissan Wingroad, Nissan Atlas
- All cars sold at Nissan Prince Shop, Nissan Satio Shop, Nissan Cherry Shop (1966–1999):
Cima, Gloria, Skyline, Primera, Auster, Stanza, Pulsar, Langley, Volkswagen Santana, Volkswagen Passat, 180SX, Safari, Mistral, Elgrand, Homy, Bassara, Largo, Serena, Stagea, Wingroad, Expert, AD van, Vanette, Clipper, Atlas, Homer (cab over truck), Cherry, Sunny, Cherry Vanette,
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Nissan dealerships.|
The Nissan Titan was introduced in 2004, as a full-size pickup truck produced for the North American market, the truck shares the stretched Nissan F-Alpha platform with the Nissan Armada and Infiniti QX56 SUVs. It was listed by Edmunds.com as the best full-size truck.
Nissan introduced its first battery electric vehicle, the Nissan Altra at the Los Angeles International Auto Show on 29 December 1997. Unveiled in 2009, the EV-11 prototype electric car was based on the Nissan Tiida (Versa in North America), with the conventional gasoline engine replaced with an all-electric drivetrain. In 2010, Nissan introduced the Nissan LEAF as the first mass-market, pure-electric vehicle launched globally.
Nissan has also had a number of ventures outside the automotive industry, most notably the Tu–Ka mobile phone service (est. 1994), which was sold to DDI and Japan Telecom (both now merged into KDDI Corporation) in 1999. Nissan offers a subscription-based telematics service in select vehicles to drivers in Japan, called CarWings. Nissan also ownsNissan Marine, a joint venture with Tohatsu Corp that produces motors for smaller boats and other maritime equipment.
Global sales figures
|Calendar Year||Global Sales|
Data extracted from Nissan’s international corporate website.
- Oppama, Yokosuka, Kanagawa (Oppama Plant & Research Center)
- Kaminokawa, Tochigi (Tochigi Plant)
- Kanda, Fukuoka (Nissan Motor Kyushu & Nissan Shatai Kyushu Plant)
- Kanagawa-ku, Yokohama, Kanagawa (Yokohama Plant)
- Iwaki, Fukushima (Iwaki Plant)
- Hiratsuka, Kanagawa (Nissan Shatai Shonan Plant)
- Nagoya, Aichi (Aichi Machine Industry Atsuta & Eitoku Plants)
- Matsusaka, Mie (Aichi Machine Industry Matsusaka Plant)
- Tsu, Mie (Aichi Machine Industry Tsu Plant)
- Uji, Kyoto (Auto Works Kyoto)
- Ageo, Saitama (Nissan Diesel Motor, currently owned by the Volvo Group)
- Samukawa, Kanagawa (Nissan Kohki)
- Zama, Kanagawa (Assembly lines in the Zama Plant were closed in 1995, currently Global Production Engineering Center and storage unit for its historic models. Automotive Energy Supply Corporation (AESC), a joint-venture between Nissan and NEC, produces lithium-ion batteries in Zama.)
- Tangier, Tangier Med port (Under construction, Renault-Nissan plant)
- South Africa
- Bangna, Samutprakarn
- Taipei, Taiwan
- United Kingdom
- United States