|Nissan Motor Co.|
|Based||Nishi-ku, Yokohama, Japan|
|Founded||1911 (as Kaishinsha Motor Car Works)|
1933 (as Nissan)
|Formula E Record|
|Début||2018 Ad Diriyah E-Prix|
|Total Entries||13 (13 Starts)|
Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. (日産自動車株式会社 in Japanese), otherwise known simply as Nissan, is a Japanese automobile manufacturer and the largest electric vehicle manufacturer in the world. Indeed, due to their interest in developing EVs, Nissan are due to make their debut in the ABB FIA Formula E Championship at the start of the 2018/19 season, becoming the first Japanese manufacturer to do so.
Nissan initially replaced alliance partners Renault in FE, partnering with the e.Dams team which had won three Teams Championships before the 2018/19 season with the French manufacturer. They would duly hire 2015/16 Champion Sébastien Buemi to lead the new Nissan squad, with the Swiss ace to be partnered by Oliver Rowland.
The origins of Nissan can be traced back to 1911, when Masujiro Hashimoto founded the Kaishinsha Motor Car Works in the Azabu-Hiroo district of Tokoyo, forming Japan's first automobile manufacturer. Their first car appeared in 1914, named the DAT, with the entire company duly renamed to the DAT Jidosha & Co., Ltd. (DAT Motorcar Co.) in 1925. A series of mergers led to DAT becoming a key member of the Nissan "Zaibatsu" Group, and later the foundation of the Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. organisation founded in 1933.
Austin Alliance: 1934-1960s
DAT, and later Nissan, would initially build small to mid-sized cars of their own design, of which only a handful would be shipped overseas. However, shortly after the foundation of the Nissan Motor Co., the group would obtain a deal to produce the Austin 7 under license, renamed as Datsun Model 16s. After the Second World War the two companies would sign a deal to expand their original agreement, resulting in Nissan gaining access to Austin's numerous patents on engine design.
These patents would be used to develop Nissan's own engines in the 1960s, before the deal between Nissan and Austin was ultimately broken when the latter was merged into British Layland at the end of the decade.
Global Luxuries: 1970s, 80s and 90s
The alliance with Austin ultimately prompted Nissan to aggressively expand its grip on the global car market outside of Japan, resulting in the acquisition of the Prince Motor Company, holders of the Skyline and Gloria brand names. Those two lines would effectively become pseudonyms for Nissan's luxury cars, while Datsun became a staple of their wider sales across the World. Increased demand through the 1970s and 80s would result in Nissan opening more plants across the world, with numerous factories built across the US and Europe.
It was during this time that Nissan also delved into the realm of motorsport, primarily competing in their native Japan. After several wins in the Japanese Grand Prix sportscar race, the group moved to the IMSA GT Championship in 1979, with various versions of their SX/ZX line. They would later move to the top GTP class in 1985, and duly won four straight titles between 1988 and 1991 with Geoff Brabham, alongside victories at the 24 Hours of Daytona|24 Hours of Daytona and 12 Hours of Sebring.
The Global Alliance: 1999 to present
In 1999 Nissan, Renault and Mitsubushi would sign a global alliance deal, ensuring that all three firms would share platforms and technology to reduce costs. The deal would last through to the present day, with Renault and Nissan both developing their first fully electric vehicles before the end of the 2000s. By 2018 Nissan and Renault were the two biggest sellers of EVs across the world, with Nissan starting to introduce NISMO (Nissan Motorsport) branded EVs after a $1 billion investment.
Nissan's motorsport programmes would also continue into the 2000s, with a second attempt at Le Mans coming in 2015, albeit one that ended in failure. Elsewhere, however, Nissan's GT programmes with NISMO would flourish, resulting in numerous victories in Super GT, as well as several victories in the Blancpain Endurance Series. Nissan would also partner themselves with the Playstation game series Gran Turismo, with the intention to turn gamers into racers.
Formula E History
Nissan would first investigate an entry into the ABB FIA Formula E Championship during the 2016/17 season, before entering talks with Global Alliance partners Renault prior to the 2017/18 season. A deal was soon reached whereby the French manufacturer left FE to focus on their Formula One exploits, allowing Nissan to assume control of their FE partnership with e.Dams for the 2018/19 season. However, as the deal was signed mid-way through the homologation process for the 2018/19 season, Renault agreed to develop Nissan's first FE powertrain, with the Japanese set to develop their own for the 2019/20 season.
Main Article: Nissan IM01 The IM01 is set to be Nissan's first FE powertrain, albeit one that was primarily developed by Renault before Nissan joined the series in 2018/19.
Videos and Images:
- 'Our Company', nissan-global.com, (Nissan Motor Corporation, 2018), https://www.nissan-global.com/EN/COMPANY/PROFILE/HERITAGE/HISTORY/, (Accessed 03/12/2018)
- 'Nissan joins growing list of automotive brands in Formula E', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 25/10/2017), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2017/october/nissan-joins-growing-list-of-automotive-brands-in-formula-e/, (Accessed 25/10/2017)
- 'Buemi and Albon lined up for Nissan e.dams debut season', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 20/09/2018), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2018/september/buemi-and-albon-lined-up-for-nissan-edams-debut-season/, (Accessed 20/09/2018)
- Alex Kalinauckas, 'Oliver Rowland takes F1-bound Alexander Albon's Formula E drive', autosport.com, (Motorsport Network, 30/11/2018), https://www.autosport.com/fe/news/140435/rowland-announced-as-albon-fe-replacement, (Accessed 30/11/2018)
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