If the United States, the economic mighty and super power, has its Big Three car companies, consisting of Ford, General Motors and DaimlerChrysler, Japan also has its own set. Toyota, Nissan and Honda are considered Japan's answer to the Big Three. To date, the global car industry is starting to recognise the important features and perks offered by Japanese car brands.
Nissan is the No. 2 Japanese carmaker, following Toyota, which is starting to dominate the global industry. Honda is close behind Nissan, and is readily waiting to take the second lead from Nissan. As a brand, Nissan is one of the strongest in Japan for world industry.
Like any other car firms, Nissan has an interesting history. The brand was formerly known as Datsun. The brand Datsun refers to the name of a car popular during the World War II era. A sense of history would tell you that being Japanese at that time evoked a lot of reactions. However, Datsun still managed to awe the American and other offshore car markets. The name Datsun was derived from the name of the company that developed and distributed it. DAT Motor Company was a carmaker based in Japan.
The letters DAT in the name were derived from the first letters of the owners' family names: Kenjiro Den, Rokuro Aoyama and Meitaro Takeuchi. When the company developed the smallest of all its models, it creatively adopted the name "Datson", which means "son of DAT".
In 1933, Japanese giant car firm Nissan Motors Co Ltd acquired DAT Motorcar. Part of its expansion into the United States, Nissan used DAT to conceal its national identity because American consumers that time naturally despised Japanese brand associations. Interestingly, the superstitious side of the company showed off. The suffix 'son' in the name Datson literally means 'lose' in Niponggo. And so the letter 'o' was changed to letter 'u', hence, Datsun.
As a car brand, Datsun stormed sales centres globally, especially in North America. As a part of Nissan, it was surprising that the brand swallowed Nissan wholly. In the 1980s, the word Datsun became a household name and Nissan was neglected as a brand name. Nissan moved to scrap the brand Datsun as part of its globalisation effort. It invested heavily in changing logos, replacing car plates and modifying advertisements. During the period, the company adopted the ad tag line 'The Name is Nissan', which clearly depicts Nissan's strong will to emerge out of Datsun's shadows and stand on its own.
It took time before car markets were able to recognise Nissan apart from Datsun. As a car brand, there were so many reasons why Datsun lasted in car buyers' minds. First, Datsun symbolised the initial dominance and advancement of the Japanese car technology. Clearly, before Toyota and Honda came to astound American and global consumers, Datsun came first and paved fellow Japanese carmakers' ways into the hearts of car markets. Now, Nissan is already a strong brand on its own. Nissan has evolved and made an impression of being a quality and a superior car manufacturer.
Original Authors: Manny
Edit Update Authors: M.A.Harris
Updated On: 10/06/2008