Originally started as the Jidosha Seico Co., Ltd, in 1933, until their merger with another Japanese company the following year, when they officially became the Nissan Motor Company, Ltd. Even though they were the Nissan Motor Company, they first began producing vehicles in 1934 under the Datsun brand. After the war, they partnered with Austin Motor Company, and the Datsun landed Stateside in 1958.
In the 1960’s they merged with Prince Motor Company, and in the 1970’s, Datsun’s popularity rose with the 240Z sports car. The 1980’s proved to be a decade of change for Nissan. In 1981, they decided to sunset the Datsun name, and began producing their vehicles as Nissan’s. They launched Nismo, which was a performance oriented tuning division, and even open a production facility in the U.S., located in Georgia.
In the 1990’s, the 300ZX, the Maxima, and the Sentra helped Nissan’s rise in popularity, but it was short lived. In 1999 they developed an alliance with Renault, and stepped up their game. They redesigned some models, and created new ones like the Murano, Armada, 350Z, 370Z, Titan, GT-R supercar, and of course the all-electric Leaf.