Nissan is a Japanese car manufacturer and previously marketed its vehicles under the Datsun brand name. In the late 1950s it started selling cars in the US market once it recognized that the Datsun small car line would meet the needs of consumers in Australia and the US. It has manufacturing plants all over the world.  Other areas that Nissan has ventured into includes mobile phones, boats and maritime equipment.

Nissan and Renault S.A. entered into an alliance in 1999. Renault owns approximately 43% of Nissan while Nissan owns about 15% of Renault. Nissan has had relationships in the past and present with many other automotive manufacturers including Ford, Mitsubishi, Suzuki and Toyota. In the past, Nissan has also partnered with Ford. They marketed their Nissan Quest which was virtually the same model as Ford’s Mercury Villager. Along with its traditional range of models, Nissan also produces a range of luxury models branded as Infiniti.

Nissan has also celebrated some innovations in automotive technology throughout its history. Nissan’s V6 VQ engine has been continuously ranked among Ward’s 10 best engines for the past 14 years.  Prior to 2010, Nissan’s hybrid technology was based on Toyota’s.  However, Nissan has now started developing their own hybrid technology. A current hybrid model is the LEAF. The LEAF is 100% electric/0% gas powered and has zero emissions. Over the years, Nissan has produced several memorable sports cars, such as the Datsun Fairlady 1500, 1600 and 2000 Roadsters, the Z-car,  and the GT-R. The Z-car was considered an affordable sports car and was originally introduced in 1969. The GT-R is a powerful all-wheel-drive sports coupe. These models have helped Nissan become the popular car manufacturer it is today.

Flagship Vehicle

Nissan Maxima – the Maxima has been a widely popular model for Nissan and the model name was first introduced in 1981. The Maxima model line started with the Nissan Bluebird G6, which in the US was called the Datsun 810. Improvements made on a regular basis keeps this car a best-selling vehicle for Nissan. It is a mid-sized, sporty sedan and is considered the “four door sports car”.  It is widely considered to be one of the best-looking sedans in its class. It has won awards for safety and reliability, as well as for best resale value out of all its competitors.

Pickup Trucks
Sub Compacts
Mid Size


While Nissan is not considered a leader in the car manufacturing industry, it is a very popular manufacturer in the world of cars and has a significant market share. It has certainly grown over time with the help of technology and introduces new models each year. A few innovative recent models include the LEAF and Juke, demonstrating that Nissan does pay attention to consumer wants and changing trends. It has production facilities all over the world with a few located in the US, making it a well-recognized name in America.