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NISSAN HISTORY

NISSAN'S U.S. MILESTONES
More than 50 years of achievements

Take a look back in time at the vehicles and events that have become milestones in the history of Nissan in the U.S.

Year
Milestone

1958

Datsun debuts at Los Angeles Imported Car Show.

1959

Nissan introduces the first compact truck sold in America, the Datsun 1000. It had a 37-hp engine and a payload capacity of 500 pounds.

1960

Nissan Motor Corp. U.S.A. is formed as the marketing arm for U.S. sales.

1965

Nissan Mexicana (NMEX) begins vehicle production and becomes the first Japanese-owned production facility in North America.

1967

Bob Sharp wins Datsun's first SCCA National Championship - the first of 10 such achievements by Datsun roadster drivers between 1967 and 1987.

1968

Nissan introduces the Datsun 510, its first car styled for the U.S. market.

1969

Nissan introduces the 240Z as a 1970 model, a sports car designed specifically for the U.S. market.

1971

Datsun 510 paces the California 500, an Indianapolis-style oval-track race.

1973

Datsun sells its 1-millionth vehicle in the U.S.

1975

Datsun becomes the top import in the U.S.

1977

Yutaka Katayama, aka "Mr. K," retires. 

Datsun 810 is introduced.

1979

Nissan opens Nissan Design International (now Nissan Design America) in La Jolla, California. It's the company's first overseas styling studio.

U.S. sales exceed 500,000.

Actor Paul Newman makes his racing debut in 200SX.

1980

Nissan Motor Manufacturing Company (NMMC) is established in Smyrna, Tennessee.

1981

Nissan Motor Acceptance Corporation (NMAC) is established in California.

1982

Sentra and Stanza join the lineup.

1983

Nissan replaces Datsun name and begins marketing all vehicles as Nissans.

Nissan Research and Development, Inc. (now Nissan Technical Center) is established in Michigan.

Job One, the first truck produced by Nissan in Smyrna, is completed.

1985

Maxima is introduced in the U.S.

The first Sentra rolls off the line in Smyrna. It's the first Nissan sedan produced in the U.S.

1986

Nissan launches Pathfinder, its first SUV.

1987

Nissan opens the Arizona Test Center in Stanfield, Arizona.

1989

Nissan launches Infiniti, a new line of luxury vehicles.

1990

Nissan North America, Inc. is established as the headquarters for North American operations.

1992

Sales begin for Quest minivan, a joint venture between Nissan and Ford Motor Company.

Nissan replaces Stanza with Altima for the 1993 model year.

The 2-millionth Sentra is sold in the U.S.

1993

The 1-millionth Maxima is sold in the U.S.

1994

Nissan wins the 24 Hours of Daytona Endurance Race.

Nissan finishes 1st in class and 5th overall at the 24 Hours of LeMans.

1997

Engine assembly facility opens in Decherd, Tennessee.

The 4-millionth Nissan built in America rolls off the Smyrna assembly line.

1998

Mr. K is inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame.

Xterra is introduced as a 2000 model.

Frontier Crew Cab is introduced as 2000 model.

1999

Nissan and Renault sign global partnership agreement.

Nissan receives the EPA's 1999 Climate Protection Award.

2000

Xterra is named Motor Trend's Sport/Utility of the Year.

2002

350Z launches to waiting lists as a 2003 model.

Murano crossover SUV launches as a 2003 model.

2003

Nissan opens its second U.S. assembly plant in Canton, Mississippi.

Titan and Armada launch as 2004 models, marking Nissan's entry into the full-size truck and SUV segments.

2006

The 100-millionth Nissan vehicle is produced worldwide.

Versa goes on sale as a 2007 model.

2007

Altima Hybrid becomes Nissan's first hybrid vehicle.

Rogue and Altima Coupe go on sale as 2008 models.

Titan-bodied 4x4 race truck wins PRO-4 title in Championship Off-Road Racing (CORR).

2008

GT-R supercar debuts as a 2009 model.

2009

cube® "mobile device" launches.

2010

Nissan LEAF® and JUKE go on sale as 2011 models.

2011

Nissan LEAF named "World Car of the Year."

Nissan factories and dealerships unite to help Japan recover from the devastating earthquake and tsunami.

Nissan enters the commercial vehicle market in North America with the introduction of the 2012 Nissan NV.

2012

The all-new 2013 Altima kicks off Nissan's core model strategy, beginning a makeover of the vehicles that account for 70% of Nissan's sales volume - Altima, Sentra, Versa, Rogue, and Pathfinder.

2013

The Versa Note hatchback goes on sale as a 2014 model.

Nissan enters the compact cargo van market with the introduction of the 2013 NV200.

Assembly for Nissan LEAF begins at the Smyrna manufacturing plant, and production of its lithium-ion battery commences in an adjacent facility.

Nissan achieves its best year of sales in U.S., led by strong growth of core models Altima, Sentra, Pathfinder, Versa, and Rogue.

Nissan expands its presence in Mexico with the opening of the first phase of a $2-billion manufacturing complex in Aguascalientes, Mexico.

Nissan Motor Corporation celebrates its 80th anniversary.

2014

The Renault-Nissan Alliance celebrates its 15th anniversary.

Nissan LEAF global sales surpass 100,000.

Contact

Team Nissan North

51 Evans Dr.
Hours & Directions Lebanon, NH 03766

  • Sales: 888-708-6201
  • Service: 603-448-3500