The history of Nissan stretches back to a period long before the name became commonly known. You see, in 1911 the Kwaishinsha Motor Car Works was founded by Masujiro Hashimoto, with the first model -- DAT -- rolling out in 1914. That vehicle drew its name from the first letter of each investor's surname: Kenjiro Den, Rokuro Aoyama, and Meitaro Takeuchi. The next step in the eventual path to the Nissan brand becoming a worldwide phenomenon came about when the Datsun Type 11 passenger car appeared in 1931. That's the same year that Kwaishinsha Motor Car Works became affiliated with Tobata Casting, a subsidiary of Nihon Sangyo -- which the Tokyo Stock Exchange abbreviated as Nissan.
When the brand arrived on US soil in the 1950s, it was still called Datsun. By the mid-1980s, however, the line was rebadged to represent the company's true name. Since then, the automaker has offered a compelling lineup of sedans, coupes, sports cars, vans, pickups, SUVs, and electric vehicles -- marking it as one of the most popular options for modern drivers.
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