The Nissan Motor Company has produced its 150 millionth vehicle.
Established in 1933, Nissan is based in Yokohama Japan and sells vehicles world-wide. The US, China, Mexico and the UK lead Nissan’s sales, and Australia has contributed to producing over 1.6 million of these vehicles, including 806,432 of the 50 million cars sold since the start of 2005.
Nissan held about 6 per cent market share of passenger and commercial new vehicle sales in New Zealand in 2016, selling 11,219 that year.
The Nissan Motor Company has its origins in the pre-war Japanese Empire, being one of the members of the “zaubatsu”, a group of business that dominated the Japanese economy from the late 1800s to the end of World War Two.
In 1914, the company produced its first car. Named DAT, the car’s name was an an acronym of the first letter of each of its investor’s surnames. The DAT was followed by the smaller DATSON (son of DAT) Type 11.
Nissan were the first manufacturer to produce cars in New Zealand, when they sold under the Datsun brand.
They built cars in Mount Wellington from March 1963, and until the company built its own permanent plant in South Auckland in the late 1970s, Nissans were assembled all over New Zealand.
Nissans were manufactured by NZ Motor Bodies in Mt Wellington, Campbell Industries in Thames, Motor Holdings, Waitara and Todd Motors Porirua. Nissan also owned a plant in Mt Roskill, Auckland and commercial vehicle plants in Glen Innes and Mangere.
Nissan closed its last plant in New Zealand in 1998, but retains plants in North America and Mexico, Europe, Asia, Oceania, Latin America & Caribbean, the Middle East and Gulf States, and Africa.
Today, Nissan is a global full-line vehicle manufacturer that sells more than 60 models under the Nissan, Infiniti and Datsun brands.
Nissan produces the all electric Leaf, which has become a best-selling electric vehicle both globally and in New Zealand. The Leaf’s ancestry can be traced all the way back to 1947, when the Japanese government encouraged auto makers to produce electric powered cars, due to oil shortages caused by World War Two.
This resulted in the Tama Electric Car, which went on to succeeded in bettering its catalog specifications in government performance tests, with a cruising range of 96.3km, and a top speed of 35.2kmh. It was widely used as a taxi and a cargo vehicle.
Nissan is currently operating in six regions: ASEAN & Oceania; Africa, Middle East & India; China; Europe; Latin America and North America, and has a global workforce of 247,500.
In fiscal year 2015, the company sold more than 5.4 million vehicles globally, and generated revenue of ¥12.19 trillion, about $160 million NZD.
The company has been partnered with French manufacturer Renault under the Renault-Nissan Alliance since March 1999.