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Those who were disappointed when Datsun changed its name to Nissan over three decades ago may have been pleased to see the marque revived last year, even as a budget brand.
This is Nissan's counterpart to its ally Renault's Dacia budget brand.
The company was formed in 1934. Nissan brought vehicles to market through the Datsun brand and began to build its market presence until World War 2.
In the early 1950s, Nissan formed a partnership with the British engine manufacturer Austin Motor Company (later to become British Motor Corporation) in order to access cutting-edge engine and automotive designs.
In 1952, the two companies reached an agreement in which Nissan would assemble Austin automobiles from imported parts and sell them in Japan under the Austin brand. After three years, Nissan made all Austin parts domestically and sold the Japanese Austins to the national market. The partnership also gave Nissan rights to access Austin patents, a position that Nissan used to refine and improve its own Datsun engines.
In the 1970s, the Datsun brand gained notoriety through the popularity of the 240Z, a sports car with a six-cylinder engine. The car was renowned for its combination of value, design, and speed. During the oil crisis of 1973, consumers everywhere began to look for small economy cars that used little fuel. This demand pushed Nissan to build new Datsun factories in Australia, Mexico, South Africa, and Taiwan. At the end of the 1970s, Nissan had cumulatively exported over ten million Datsuns.
In 1981, Nissan dispensed with the Datsun name and began selling its automobiles under the Nissan brand.
Nissan began the 1990s by releasing several models such as the Maxima, Sentra, and 300ZX. This move caused sales to increase substantially. However, toward the end of the decade, Nissan models became more generic and unappealing and the company saw sales drop.
In 1999, Nissan formed an alliance with French automaker Renault. Nissan re-designed the Sentra and Altima, which became popular among consumers. The program was hugely successful and, today, the Nissan brand is associated with quality, design, and value for money.
Nissan offers a wide array of automobile models for consumers. The Nissan Altima is the midsize sedan and offers several sub-models and optional upgrades, including a hybrid. The Maxima is a more luxurious full-size sedan, while the Nissan Sentra and Versa are economical compact sedans and hatchbacks with great fuel economy.
For those looking for utility, Nissan offers pick-up trucks, crossovers and SUVs like the Juke, and Murano.
For the sports enthusiast, the Nissan 370Z coupe and convertibles are available with a lot of speed and style, while the GT-R supercar competes with high-end sports cars from all over the world. The Nissan Leaf is driven on pure electricity with no gas required. With its wide range of vehicles, there is something for everyone in the Nissan line of cars for sale.
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