Nissan Cars

Nissan is a Japanese automaker known for its aggressive styling and sporty performance. The company began in 1933 under the name Jidosha Seizo Company, Ltd. but became Nissan Motors after merging with another Japanese manufacturing company the following year. In 1934, Nissan brought vehicles to market through the Datsun brand, which it had acquired several years earlier and began to build its market presence until World War II. Then the company built trucks, engines, and airplanes for the Japanese military.

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Nissan After World War II

After the war and in the early 1950s, Nissan formed a partnership with the British engine manufacturer Austin Motor Company in order to access cutting-edge engine and automotive designs. Austin Motor Company later became the British Motor Corporation. In 1952, the two companies reached an agreement in which Nissan would assemble Austin automobiles from imported parts and sell them in Japan under the Austin brand. After three years, Nissan made all Austin parts domestically and sold the Japanese Austins to the national market. The partnership also gave Nissan rights to access Austin patents, a position that Nissan used to refine and improve its own Datsun engines.

Nissan in America

In the 1950s, Nissan management saw an opportunity to market its line of smaller Datsun vehicles in international markets like the United States. In 1958, The first Nissan vehicle to come to America was the Datsun 1000. Built around an Austin framework., the 1000 was showcased at the 1959 Los Angeles Auto Show, an appearance that generated a few American sales that year. Also, in 1959, the company started a U.S. subsidiary named Nissan Motor Corporation.

In the early 1960s, Nissan developed its first vehicle for the American market: the Datsun 510 sedan. In 1966, the company merged with Prince Motor Company, a move that pushed Nissan's vehicles in a more luxury-oriented direction. By the end of the decade, Nissan had exported over one million Datsun automobiles.

In the 1970s, the Datsun brand gained notoriety through the popularity of the 240Z, a sports car with a six-cylinder engine. The car was renowned for its combination of value, design, and speed. During the oil crisis of 1973, consumers everywhere began to look for small economy cars that used little fuel. This demand pushed Nissan to build new Datsun factories in Australia, Mexico, South Africa, and Taiwan. At the end of the 1970s, Nissan had cumulatively exported over ten million Datsuns.

In 1981, Nissan threw out the Datsun name and began selling its automobiles under the Nissan brand. Around the same time, the company began building manufacturing plants in the U.S. as a response to the "Chicken Tax" that imposed a 25 percent duty on imported commercial vans. Also in the 1980s, Nissan introduced a racetuning division called NISMO, short for Nissan Motorsports, which focused on high-performance vehicles. The NISMO division still exists.

Nissan began the 1990s by releasing several models to the U.S. market such as the Maxima, Sentra, and 300ZX. This move caused sales to increase substantially. However, toward the end of the decade, Nissan models became more generic and unappealing to American consumers and the company saw sales drop. In 1999, Nissan formed an alliance with French automaker Renault to relieve some of its financial woes and for a strategic position. Nissan redesigned the Sentra and Altima, which became popular among consumers. Later, an initiative called the "Nissan Revival Plan" (NRP) set targets for sales and operating margins in an attempt to bring the company back to prominence. The program was hugely successful and, today, the Nissan brand is associated with quality, design, and value in America.

Nissan Models

Nissan offers a wide array of automobile models for consumers. The Nissan Altima is the midsize sedan and offers several sub-models and optional upgrades, including a hybrid. The Maxima is a more luxurious full-size sedan, while the Nissan Sentra and Versa are economical compact sedans and hatchbacks with great fuel economy.

For those looking for utility, Nissan offers pickup trucks (the small Frontier and full-size Titan) and several crossovers and SUVs (Cube, Juke, Rogue, Murano, Xterra, Pathfinder, and Armada). The Nissan Quest is a feature-packed minivan, the Juke is a new fuel efficient crossover, and the Cube is a fully customizable crossover similar to the Scion xB.

For the sports enthusiast, the Nissan 370Z coupe and convertibles are available with a lot of speed and style, while the GT-R supercar competes with high-end sports cars from all over the world. The Nissan Leaf is driven on pure electricity with no gas required. With its wide range of vehicles, there is something for everyone in the Nissan line of cars.

Popular Nissan Products and Technologies

Nissan is known for the quality of its VQ six-cylinder, an engine that was repeatedly named one of the world's best. The company's NISMO racing division has a reputation of speed and performance among the tuning community. Recently, Nissan gained tremendous popularity as a result of the launch of the Leaf, the first pure electric vehicle to hit the market in over a decade. Vehicle such as the Leaf and the Altima Hybrid have garnered Nissan an image of environmental awareness.

Select a Nissan Model

Nissan 200SX

1998-1995 | Coupe, Sports

The Nissan 200SX nameplate was used on many different models sold in various foreign markets.

Nissan 240SX

1998-1995 | Coupe, Sports

The Nissan 240SX is a sporty compact that arrived in the 1989 model year.

Nissan 300ZX

1996-1995 | Convertible, Coupe, Hatchback, Sports

First introduced in 1990, the Nissan 300ZX is a sporty two-door coupe that became an instant hit when it made its debut.

Nissan 350Z

2009-2003 | Convertible, Coupe, Hatchback, Sports

The Nissan 350Z is the fifth generation of Nissan’s Z sports car.

Nissan 370Z

2019-2009 | Convertible, Coupe, Sports

Introduced in 2008, and succeeding the 350Z, the Nissan 370Z represents the sixth generation of the Nissan Z series sports cars.

Nissan Altima

2017-1995 | Coupe, Hybrid, Midsize, Sedan, Sports

After the brand ended production of the Nissan Stanza in 1992, the 1993 model year saw the introduction of the Nissan Altima The Nissan Altima was, and still is, completely manufactured in the U.S.

Nissan Armada

2019-2017, 2015-2004 | SUV, Utility/Offroad

The Nissan Armada is a full-size SUV that was first introduced in 2004 and is still in production today.

Nissan Cube

2014-2009 | Hatchback, Wagon

The Nissan Cube is a cube-like compact hatchback that was introduced in 1998 but was not offered outside of Japan until 2009.

Nissan Frontier

2018-1998 | Truck, Utility/Offroad

The Nissan Frontier can be traced back to the early days of the company when it still manufactured Datsun vehicles.

Nissan GT-R

2018-2009 | Coupe, Sports

The Nissan GT-R is a legendary performance brand for Nissan and made its first appearance as a high-performance badge for its Skyline series, formally known as the Nissan Skyline GT-R.

Nissan Juke

2017-2011 | Compact, SUV, Utility/Offroad

The predecessor to the Nissan Juke was the Nissan Terrano II, a midsize SUV based on the original, full-size Nissan Terrano platform.

Nissan Kicks

2018 | Sports, SUV

Nissan Leaf

2019-2011 | Compact, Hatchback

For the Nissan Motor Corporation, its initial company jaunt into the electric car arena dates to 1997 after unveiling the Nissan Altra at the Los Angeles Auto Show in December.

Nissan Maxima

2018-2016, 2014-1995 | Midsize, Sedan

Aptly named, the Nissan Maxima enjoyed a very long history that continues to grow and develop more than 30 years after it was initially launched back in 1977.

Nissan Murano

2018-2009, 2007-2003 | SUV, Utility/Offroad

The Nissan Murano takes its name from a neighborhood in Venice, Italy known for its exquisite hand blown glass.

Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet

2014-2011 | SUV, Utility/Offroad

In a world where true risk-takers are in short supply, especially the automotive industry, it’s nice to see that there are still some creative minds at Nissan who are willing to go ""out on a limb."" Case in point: the Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet, the world’s first convertible SUV.

Nissan NV

2017 | Minivan/Van

Nissan NV1500

2016-2012 | Minivan/Van

The Nissan NV1500 debuts for the 2012 model year.

Nissan NV200

2017-2013 | Minivan/Van

Nissan NV2500

2016-2012 | Minivan/Van

So far, the Nissan NV2500 doesn’t have much of a reputation since Nissan introduced the series for the 2012 model year.

Nissan NV3500

2016-2012 | Minivan/Van

In 2011, Nissan launched its new commercial van, the Nissan Van (NV).

Nissan NV3500 Passenger

2016-2012 | Minivan/Van

Nissan Pathfinder

2019-1995 | SUV, Utility/Offroad

The Nissan Pathfinder is a sport utility vehicle (SUV) that has been in production since 1986.

Nissan Pathfinder Hybrid

2014 | Hybrid, SUV, Utility/Offroad

Nissan Pickup

1997-1995 | Truck, Utility/Offroad

The Nissan Pickup line currently includes two models in the U.S.

Nissan Quest

2016-2011, 2009-2004, 2002-1995 | Minivan/Van

The Nissan Quest is a minivan that has been in production and for sale in the U.S.

Nissan Rogue

2017-2008 | Hybrid, SUV, Utility/Offroad

The Nissan Rogue, a four-seat compact crossover sport utility vehicle (SUV), debuted in 2007 for the 2008 model year at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan.

Nissan Rogue Select

2015-2014 | SUV, Utility/Offroad

Nissan Rogue Sport

2017 | Midsize, SUV

Nissan Sentra

2019-1995 | Compact, Sedan

The Nissan Sentra is a compact car produced by Japanese automaker Nissan Motors; however, it sells under a different name in Japan.

Nissan Titan

2019-2017, 2015-2004 | Truck, Utility/Offroad

The Nissan Titan in a full-size pickup truck that met the public in 2004.

Nissan Titan XD

2019-2016 | Truck, Utility/Offroad

Nissan Versa

2019, 2017-2007 | Compact, Hatchback, Sedan

The Nissan Versa is a compact car that Nissan introduced as the Tiida in 2004 to the foreign markets, but when it arrived in the U.S.

Nissan Versa Note

2019-2014 | Compact, Hatchback

Nissan Xterra

2015-2000 | SUV, Utility/Offroad