Nissan Motor Company Ltd commonly known as Nissan or Nissan Motors is a Japanese based multinational automaker with its headquarters situated in Nishi-ku, Yokohama. Earlier, Nissan Motors was an important part of Nissan Group before its restructuring that made it more independent under the guidance of Carlos Ghosn, CEO of the company.
Previously, Nissan sold its vehicles under the brand name “Datsun” and known to be the one of the largest automakers in the world.
The traces from history shows that the name Datsun was first used in 1914 which was an acronym made from the first letter of the company’s partners’ family names, i.e. Kenjiro Den, Rukuro Aoyama and Meitaro Takeuchi.
In 1918, the company was renamed as Kwaishinsha Motorcar Co. which was renamed again back to DAT Motorcar Co. later in 1925. Previously, DAT Motors produced trucks together with DAT and Datsun passenger vehicles. However, the major part of company’s production comprised of trucks. It was in 1918 when the company manufactured its first DAT truck for the military market. However, the demands were not enough from the market so the company decided to merge with the then Japan’s popular truck makers, Jitsuyo Motors in 1926.
The merger of Tokyo-based DAT Motors with the Osaka-based Jitsuyo Jidosha Company Ltd also known as Jitsuyo Motors occurred in 1926 and later the merged company appeared to bas as DAT Automobile Manufacturing Company Ltd in 1932.
The DAT released a new smaller vehicle, Datson in 1931. The term Datson means ‘Son of DAT. However, it was also realized later in 1933 after the Nissan Motors took control of the company that the term ‘son’ also means ‘loss’ in Japanese so it was replaced by ‘sun’ as Datsun.
The company was japanised (Nipponized) to Jidosha –Seizo Company Ltd in 1933 and was shifted to new location Yokohama.
Yoshisuke Aikawa laid the basis of holding company Nippon Sangyo (Nippon or Japanese Industries) in 1928. Later, in 1930s, the name Nissan began to flourish as an abbreviation for Nippon Sangyo used in the Tokyo stock market. The company founded by Aikawa was the popular Nissan Zaibatsu a joint-venture of Tobata Casting and Hitachi. During that time Nissan was in auto parts business as well as holding some foundries. It was in 1933 when Aikawa entered formally in the automotive industry. With the passage of time Nissan expanded its operations and took control of 74 firms and eventually became the Japan’s fourth largest combine at the time of Second World War.
Aikawa bought the controlling shares in DAT Motors in 1930 and later in 1933 a merger of Tobata Casting’s automobile parts department with DAT Motors took place. This point in history is often taken as the beginning of the Nissan operations as automaker.
Aikawa, in 1934, discarded the expanded automobile parts division of Tobata Casting and established it as a new subsidiary with a name Nissan Motors, Nissan Motor Company Ltd. Aikawa felt that the shareholders of the new company were reluctant and hopeless about the future of the company, so he purchased all the Tobata shareholders in June 1934. Because Aikawa used the capital from Nippon Sangyo, the Nissan Motors suggestively seemed to own by Hitachi and Nippon Sangyo.
Nissan is a popular name in the automotive industry and is known for the production of trucks, airplanes, as well as engines for military usage. The company was known as Nissan Heavy Industries Corp. during the period from 1947 to 1948. When Japan captured a region in China, the main plant of the company was moved to that land where the machinery was produced to fulfill Japan’s military need right until it was captured by American and Russian forces.