Nissan Timeline Infographic


Discover the history of Nissan, from the founding of their company to their vision for the future.

The 1930s

Jidosha-Seizo Kabushiki-Kaisha, or "Automobile Manufacturing Co., Ltd." in English, was established on December 26, 1933. On June 1, 1934, the company changed its name to Nissan Motor Co. Founder Yoshisuke Aikawa planned to mass-produce 10,000 to 15,000 units per year, and the Type 15 was Japan's first ever mass-produced vehicle. Due to their mass-producing success, Nissan acquired fellow Japanese motorcar company DAT in 1934, and they changed the name of their signature small car from "Datson" to "Datsun." In 1935, the first small-size Datsun passenger car rolled off the assembly line at the Yokohama Plant. In 1936, Nissan purchased design plans and plant facilities from Graham-Paige Motors Corp. of the U.S. for the manufacture of passenger cars and trucks.

The 1940s

During World War II, Nissan production shifted to supply trucks and military vehicles for the war effort. In 1945, they resumed production of Nissan passenger cars, and in 1947, they resumed production of Datsun passenger cars.

The 1950s

In 1953, the first Austin rolled out. In 1958, one of two Datsun 210 cars entered in the Australian Rally, one of the most grueling races in the world, and captured its class championship. That same year, Nissan entered the U.S. market.

The 1960s

In 1960, Nissan received the annual Deming Prize for engineering excellence, becoming the first Japanese automaker to do so. During this decade, Datsun began manufacturing the Fairlady, the predecessor to the Nissan Z-Series. Nissan began to hold Miss Fairlady Pageants to promote their cars, a tradition that still continues into the 21st century. In 1967, Nissan hired its first female engineer, Kyoko Shimada. The same year, Datsun introduced the 510, their first 4-door sports sedan. They branded it, "A family car with a racing heritage."

The 1970s

In 1970, Nissan helped build the Lambda-4S, one of Japan's earliest forays into space. In 1973, the one-millionth Datsun vehicle was sold in the U.S., and in 1977, Nissan introduced the King Cab, their first extended cab pickup. It came with the catchphrase, "A truck that works as hard as you."

The 1980s

This decade was a time of American production. In 1983, the first Nissan truck was built in the U.S. at a new assembly plant in Smyrna, Tennessee. In 1985, the first Sentra was built in the U.S. as well.

The 2000s

In 2007, Nissan collaborated with Toyota to release their first hybrid vehicle, the Altima Hybrid. In 2010, Nissan began production on their first mass-produced 100% electric vehicle, the Nissan Leaf. In 2013, the company introduced the all-new, sleeker Nissan Altima with improved fuel economy, higher quality materials, a new suspension system, and better steering. In 2017, new models of the Maxima, Rogue, Pathfinder, and Titan XD all hit the market.

As Nissan grows closer to a century in business, it plans to continue its history of innovation and engineering excellence. Current CEO Carlos Ghosn has exciting plans for an electrified and fatality-free future.


Port City Nissan

120 Spaulding Turnpike
Directions Portsmouth, NH 03801

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