WSJ–A Rare Tour of Vintage Datsuns in Japan

Datsun_logoDatsun has been a marque since 1931.  That is five years before Toyota produced cars.  Introduced to Japan by the DAT Motorcar Co. as the original spelling of Datson.  The Wikipedia entry for Datsun states that the last syllable of Datson was changed to “sun??? because “son??? also means “loss??? in Japanese. Datsun was well known for their durable trucks and cornered the Japanese market for military versions.  In 1958, the Nissan Group, that owned the Datsun brand name, brought their cars and trucks to the U.S. under the Nissan Motor Corporation U.S.A.  umbrella.  The first cars showed up at the 1959 LA Auto Show and sold their first units that year.  In 1986, the Datsun brand was dropped in favor of the Nissan name.

By 1999, Nissan was facing financial difficulties.  That is the year they partnered with Renault in the first ever Japanese-French car manufacturer alliance.  Renault holds 44.3% of Nissan shares. Renault’s CEO, Carlos Ghosn created a revival plan for Nissan and catapulted them to record profits.

Now, Nissan wants to relaunch the Datsun brand as a low-end, inexpensive line of cars that will be sold in India, Indonesia and Russia.

Check this “Rare Tour of Vintage Datsuns in Japan’ out over at WSJ:

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