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Shortened as Nissan, the Nissan Motor Company Ltd is one of Japan’s largest automotive manufacturer with headquarters in Yokohama. Nissan also owns Infiniti luxury-car marque and the Datsun brand. Alongside, the Nissan Nismo division provides in-house performance tuning for Nissan models.
Nissan was founded in 1911 under the Kaishinsha Motor Car Works name. The first car produced was the DAT. After a number of renames and changes, the company (at the time name DAT) started manufacturing military and commercial trucks for the Japanese market, using US imported parts.
The brand name Nissan was used for the first time during the 30s, as an abbreviation in the Tokyo Stock Exchange, as the company went public. The current Nissan Motor Company was set up in 1934 and provided the Austin 7 under license, branded as Datsun model 16. After various ups and downs caused by the war, in 1966 Nissan merged with prince Motor Company, which allowed it to provide higher-spec models such as the Skyline and Gloria.
It was during the 1950s that Nissan decided to expand operations worldwide. The Datsun Bluebird was the first Nissan car to be shown outside Japan, at the 1958 LA Auto Show. The subsidiary, Nissan Motor Corporation USA continued improving and manufacturing sedans by bringing hints of Italian design into the cars. Some of the more famous models of the time include the Datsun Fairlady and the world-famous Datsun 240z.
Probably the epitome of performance in the Nissan lineup is the GT-R. Known during its initial versions as Godzilla, or the supercar eater, the Nissan GT-R presented as a sports sedan (and later coupe) which was able to defeat supercars of the likes of Ferrari and Lamborghini at fraction of the price.
On the more affordable, commercial line, Nissan offers an entire lineup of small-class cars, premium and executive sedans, and also well-performing SUVs.
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