Nissan was formed when Aikawa purchased controlling shares in DAT Motors (producers of the first Datsun) and then in 1933 it merged Tobata Casting's automobile parts department with DAT Motors. As Tobata Casting was a Nissan company, this was the beginning of Nissan's automobile manufacturing.
In 1934, Aikawa separated the expanded automobile parts division of Tobata Casting and incorporated it as a new subsidiary, which he named Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.
In the early 1950s, Nissan partnered with Austin of the United Kingdom in order to gain access to modern European designs and technology. Nissan began building Austin 7s in 1930, though the legitimacy of their license at that time is debated
In 1992, Nissan relaunched its Terrano four-wheel drive alongside the Ford Maverick. The cars were cosmetically and mechanically identical to each other and were built in Spain. Although the Maverick was discontinued in 1998 due to disappointing sales, the Nissan Terrano was a strong seller and remained in production until 2005, when it was replaced by the Nissan Pathfinder.
Nissan entered into an alliance with Renault in 1999, in the face of increasing financial pressure. The Alliance was the first of its kind involving a Japanese and French car manufacturer, each with its own distinct corporate culture and brand identity.
The Renault-Nissan Alliance has evolved over years to Renault holding 44.3% of Nissan shares, while Nissan holds 15% of Renault shares which does not give Nissan a voting or board representation due to legal restrictions in France.
In 2010, Daimler AG exchanged a 3.9% share of its holdings for 3.9% from both Nissan and Renault. This triple alliance allows for the increased sharing of technology and development costs, encouraging global cooperation and mutual development.
Cars in the current Nissan range include the Nissan Leaf, the first all electric productin car, Micra, Note, Juke, Qashqai, X-Trail, 370Z & Pathfinder.