Rear View of Datsun Z

The Nissan Story

Nissan History
and Heritage

Innovation that excites. Since 1914.

Though the first Nissan – actually a Datsun  –  was produced  in 1914, the name Nissan itself didn’t truly debut until 1933 when founder Yoshisuke Aikawa listed the Nihon Sangyo Company on the Tokyo Stock Exchange under the ticker name: NISSAN. In the 91 years since,  the Nissan name has grown to be known  in almost every corner of the Globe.

Nissan Founder Yoshisuke Aikawa


Origins of Nissan

The global automotive manufacturer known today as Nissan first debuted in 1911 when the Kwaishinsha (Kaishinsha) Motor Car Works was founded in Tokyo. 3 years later its first DAT model  — an acronym of the initial  investors surnames — was produced. 

Datsun 280ZX parked in front of a building, showcasing the car's design and surroundings.


Building off of success

Nissan built upon its successes of the 1970s – both in the showrooms and on the racetrack.  Nissan Motor Manufacturing Corporation (NMMC) was established in Smyrna, Tennessee, to fulfill the growing demand for Nissan vehicles. In 1989, Nissan produced the 1-millionth vehicle on American soil. On the track, Hollywood legend Paul Newman captured Nissan's 50th national SCCA championship following consecutive wins in 1985 and 1986 with the Newman/Sharp Trans-Am 300ZX®. 


Finding our stride, building on racing legends.

Rear view of a Nissan GT-R built in the 2000s, highlighting the car's design


21st-Century thrills

Nissan has nearly doubled the number of models offered and nearly doubled its sales. In 10 years, the diverse lineup has grown to include the first full-size Nissan truck, the TITAN®, along with all-new hybrid technology and a 21st-century supercar. And this is only the beginning of what's to come.


A new century of excitement.

First image: A Blue Nissan LEAF in charging Station. Second image: Interior view of a Nissan vehicle.


The first Nissan EV

Nissan helped to lead the automotive industry into the age of electric vehicles when it debuted the all-electric Nissan LEAF® and throughout the decade continued its tradition of innovation that excites with all new vehicles like the Nissan Kicks and safety technology like its available Safety Shield® 360 suite of features. Explore Safety Shield 360 [[1381]]


The dawn of Nissan electrification

Blue Nissan LEAF


Nissan LEAF®

In 2010, Nissan introduced Nissan LEAF®—the world’s first mass-produced, 100% electric, zero tailpipe emission automobile. The standard 24-kWh battery was replaced with a 30-kWh battery for 2016, featuring an EPA estimated 107 miles of range. The 2018 LEAF introduced an all-new design and a 40-kWh battery that took range up to an EPA-estimated 151 miles, and in 2019, LEAF PLUS added an available 60-kWh battery, estimated by EPA to offer up to 226 miles of range. [[3899]]

2018 Orange Nissan Kicks


Nissan Kicks: The crossover of self expression

Nissan Kicks offers a bundle of technology and functionality at an attractive MSRP. It’s a one-of-a-kind crossover that’s big on attitude and self-expression. It demands attention with dynamic styling, nimble performance and an optional Safety Shield 360 for a suite of safety tech.

2019 Red Nissan Altima


Nissan Altima: All-Wheel Drive sedan

Continuing the Altima tradition of innvovation in the sedan market, the Nissan Altima with an available Intelligent All-Wheel Drive system was made available for the first time. And it's still available today. [[1323]]

2023 Nissan ARIYA driving outdoor


Nissan ARIYA

Nissan packs more than a decade of expertise in electric vehicle technology into the 2023 Nissan ARIYA, an all-electric crossover that features available e-4ORCE all-wheel drive and will drive Nissan and us towards an electric future. [[1461]]


A look ahead

Since the beginning, Nissan’s history is one of innovation without reservation and a willingness to do what others don’t dare to do. Nissan has an impressive track record of innovations, one that has greatly impacted the auto industry and the lives of drivers worldwide. [[44]]

Nissan concept and future vehicles displaying innovative designs

Additional Resources

Blue Nissan GT-R R34 parked, showcasing the iconic design and color of the vehicle.

Evolution of GT-R

The history of the GT-R starts with its predecessor, the Nissan Skyline. This marked the first transition for Nissan from sedan to race car. Over 50 years later after the introduction of the Skyline, the GT-R made its way to America where it out competed with American muscle cars and European supercars. Making it legendary overnight.

Datsun 280ZX driving outdoors, capturing the motion and classic design of the vehicle.

The history of Z-cars

The Nissan Z-car is known for their distinct styling and reputation for power and performance at a competitive price. The history of the Z-Car has taken an exhilarating road from the Datsun 240Z and Fairlady Z from Japan in 1969, through the 80s with the 300ZX, 2000s with the 350Z, 2010s with the 370Z, and into tomorrow with the current Nissan Z.