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About NissanNissan Motor Company Ltd is one of the world's biggest multinational auto manufacturers, specializing in cutting edge styling and performance across a broad lineup of vehicles, from powerful trucks to electric sedans. Today the company is headquarted in Yokohama, Japan.
Nissan Motor Co. was first founded in 1934 by Yoshisuke Aikawa, and began producing cars under the popular Datsun brand. During World War II, Nissan Motors supported the Japanese war effort by building trucks, planes, and military vehicles. After the war, Nissan expanded its markets beyond its homeland. In 1952, Nissan partnered with U.K.-based Austin Motors, gaining access to updated technology and patents that would eventually lead to the development of the Datsun 510,... View more the company's first big break in the international sedan market.
In 1959 Nissan opened a subsidiary in the United States and first showed their cars in the U.S. at the 1959 Los Angeles Auto Show. In 1966, the company merged with the Prince Motor Company and added luxury models like the Skyline and Gloria to the Nissan lineup. Much of the technology and styling from these models lives on today in the company's modern luxury brand, Infiniti.
Nissan did not truly attain world class status until the 1969 release of the Datsun 240Z sports car. Featuring a powerful inline six-cylinder engine and an affordable price among foreign cars of the era, the 240Z was an instant success. In 2004, Sports Car International magazine nominated the Datsun 240Z for the number two position on the list of Top Sports Cars of the 1970s. With the help of the 240Z, Nissan Motor Co. became one of the largest automobile exporters in the world, exporting more than 10 million vehicles by the end of the 1970s.
With its new status in the international market, the company dropped the Datsun brand name and began selling vehicles under their own name in the 1980s. Nissan also began building plants and shifting more manufacturing to the United States. The first U.S. assembly plant in Smyrna, Tennessee began building new models under the Nissan brand including the Altima, Maxima, and Xterra.
In the late 90s Nissan fell on hard times as a result of a disappointing and forgettable lineup, but quickly took steps to spring back to the top. In 1999, Nissan entered an alliance with Renault S.A., a French car manufacturer. Under Carlos Ghosn, the new Chief Operating Officer, Nissan experienced a dramatic and historic turnaround. New models in both the Nissan and Infiniti brands were well-received. The Nissan Titan, a full-size pickup introduced in 2004, was nominated for the North American Truck of the Year award. The Nissan Leaf, one of the first all-electric vehicles, has won a wide array of awards and is considered the most fuel-efficient EPA certified vehicle ever.
Today Nissan is the second largest manufacturer in its home market of Japan, and is among the top three Asian car makers in the U.S. Nissan is still known for offering a wide range of vehicle models with a competitive combination of style, power, and reliability. The same innovation, affordability, and performance embodied in the famous 240Z is still alive and well at Nissan. View less
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