Datsun Logo Datsun is an automobile brand owned by Nissan. Datsun's original production run began in 1931. From 1958 to 1986, only vehicles exported by Nissan were identified as Datsun. By 1986 Nissan had phased out the Datsun name, but re-launched it in June 2013 as the brand for low-cost vehicles manufactured for emerging markets.
In 1931, Dat Motorcar Co. chose to name its new small car "Datson", a name which indicated the new car's smaller size when compared to the DAT's larger vehicle already in production. When Nissan took control of DAT in 1934, the name "Datson" was changed to "Datsun", because "son" also means "loss" (損 son) in Japanese and also to honour the sun depicted in the national flag – thus the name Datsun: Dattosan (ダットサン? Dattosan).Nissan phased out the Datsun brand in March 1986. The Datsun name is internationally well known for the 510, Fairlady roadsters, the Fairlady (240Z) coupes, and recently, the Go hatchback.
Before the Datsun brand name came into being, an automobile named the DAT car was built in 1914, by the Kaishinsha Motorcar Works (快進自動車工場? Kaishin Jidōsha Kōjō), in the Azabu-Hiroo District in Tokyo. The new car's name was an acronym of the surnames of the following company partners:
- Kenjirō Den (田 健次郎? Den Kenjirō)
- Rokurō Aoyama (青山 禄朗? Aoyama Rokurō)
- Meitarō Takeuchi (竹内 明太郎? Takeuchi Meitarō).
Fortuitously, datto (how a native Japanese speaker would pronounce "dat") means to "dash off like a startled rabbit" (脱兎), which was considered a good name for the little car.The firm was renamed Kaishinsha Motorcar Co. in 1918, seven years after their establishment and again, in 1925, to DAT Motorcar Co. DAT Motors constructed trucks in addition to the DAT passenger cars. In fact, their output focused on trucks since there was almost no consumer market for passenger cars at the time. Beginning in 1918, the first DAT trucks were assembled for the military market. The low demand from the military market during the 1920s forced DAT to consider merging with other automotive industries. In 1926 the Tokyo-based DAT Motors merged with the Osaka-based Jitsuyo Jidosha Co., Ltd. (実用自動車製造株式会社? Jitsuyō Jidōsha Seizō Kabushiki-Gaisha) also known as Jitsuyo Motors (established 1919, as a Kubota subsidiary) to become DAT Automobile Manufacturing Co., Ltd. (ダット自動車製造株式会社? Datto Jidōsha Seizō Kabushiki-Gaisha) in Osaka until 1932. (Jitsuyo Jidosha began producing a three-wheeled vehicle with an enclosed cab called the Gorham in 1920, and the following year produced a four-wheeled version. From 1923 to 1925, the company produced light cars and trucks under the name of Lila.
The DAT corporation had been selling full size cars to Japanese consumers under the DAT name since 1914.In 1930, the Japanese government created a ministerial ordinance that allowed cars with engines up to 500 cc to be driven without a license.DAT Automobile Manufacturing began development of a line of 495 cc cars to sell in this new market segment, calling the new small cars "Datson" – meaning "Son of DAT". The name was changed to "Datsun" two years later in 1933.
The first prototype Datson was completed in the summer of 1931.The production vehicle was called the Datson Type 10, and "approximately ten" of these cars were sold in 1931.They sold around 150 cars in 1932, now calling the model the Datsun Type 11.In 1933, government rules were revised to permit 750 cc (46 cu in) engines, and Datsun increased the displacement of their microcar engine to the maximum allowed.These larger displacement cars were called Type 12s.
By 1935, the company had established a true production line, following the example of Ford, and were producing a car closely resembling the Austin 7.There is evidence that six of these early Datsuns were exported to New Zealand in 1936, a market they then re-entered in May 1962.In 1937, Datsun's biggest pre-war year, 8593 were built, with some exported to Australia in knock-down form.
After Japan went to war with China in 1937, passenger car production was restricted, so by 1938, Datsun's Yokohama plant concentrated on building trucks for the Imperial Japanese Army.
When the Pacific War ended, Datsun would turn to providing trucks for the Occupation forces.This lasted until car production resumed in 1947.As before the war, Datsun closely patterned their cars on contemporary Austin products: postwar, the Devon and Somerset were selected.For Datsun's smaller cars (and trucks), such as the DB and DS series, they depended on designs based on the pre-war Austin Seven. The heavier trucks, meanwhile, were based on Chevrolet's 1937 design with an engine of Graham-Paige design. Nissan also built the 4W60 Patrol, based on the Willys Jeep, and the 4W70 Carrier, based on the Dodge M37. Not until January 1955 did Datsun offer a fully indigenous design.
That year, the Occupation returned production facilities to Japanese control, and Datsun introduced the 110 saloon and the 110-based 120 pickup.
Source : wikipedia