Revving To The Top: The Dawn Of Nissan, The Pioneer In The Automobile Industry 🚘
🏁A Humble Start
On 6th November 1880, a boy named Yoshisuke Aikawa was born in Yamaguchi prefecture. Growing up, he developed an interest in engineering and did his engineering at the Tokyo Imperial University in Japan. Despite hailing from an influential family background, he worked as a mechanic and didn’t reveal his academic accomplishments to anyone. He then went to the United States, where he again worked as a mechanic at an iron factory and learned about casting metal.
🚗The First Auto Venture
Upon his return to Japan, he identified the potential for automobiles in the country. Yoshisuke soon started his entrepreneurial journey with the establishment of Kwaishinsha Motor Car Works. The company’s first creation was named DAT, after the initials of the 3 men who invested in Kwaishinsha: Den, Aoyama and Takeuchi.
In 1918, the company’s name was changed to the Kwaishinsha Motor Car Co. Ltd. It had blossomed into a company with ¥600000 in capital along with a workforce of 60 employees. Soon, the first single-body casting 4-cylinder engine in Japan, Model 41 DAT was created & released by the company in Japan.
The very next year, a three-wheeled vehicle was created by an American engineer, named William R. Gorham. This prominent invention drew the attention of a businessman in Osaka, who formulated a company known as Jitsuyo Jidosha Co. Ltd. It was a modern automobile factory then. Eventually, the companies realised it would be mutually beneficial for them if they could partner up to increase their sales and so they did. Hence, the name was changed again to DAT Jidosha & Co. Ltd.
A couple of years later, Yoshisukes’ Tobata Casting Co. Ltd. which used to manufacture automobile parts was keen to enter the automobile industry. Aiming to achieve this, he made DAT Jidosha & Co. Ltd., Tobata Casting’s subsidiary. Under this venture, DAT Jidosha & Co. Ltd. created its first 495cc compact-size passenger vehicle.
In the following year, 1932, the company DAT Jidosha & Co. Ltd. decided to rename itself to ‘Datson’, meaning the ‘Son of DAT’. DAT was again taken from the initial letters of three men who invested in the company. But the word ‘SON’ was changed to ‘SUN’, as ‘SON’ sounded quite similar to ‘disadvantage’ in Japanese. Thus, DATSUN was born.
⏩The Formation & The Progress
Yoshisuke’s holding company, Nihon Sangyo Co,. became the 100% investor and owner of the company and renamed it what we all famously know as Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. Its Datsun Type-15 became the first mass-produced Japanese vehicle. When the company started exporting in the late ’50s, its vehicles had a major impact on the U.S. market. It then went on an expansion spree in the 1980s and is now operational in more than 190 countries. Its whopping operating profit of ¥247.3 billion in FY21 exhibited some impeccable signs of growth.