5 Facts About Nissan

Nissan, a brand synonymous with pushing the boundaries of vehicle design and performance, has a history filled with fascinating tales that stretch beyond the assembly line. These snippets from Nissan’s storied past showcase not just the technological advancements but also the dramatic episodes that have unfolded both on and off the racetrack.

Sports car Datsun 240Z (Nissan S30), 1971. Europe's greatest classic car exhibition "RETRO CLASSICS"
Photo by depositphotos.com

Let’s dive into the high-speed, twisting narrative of Nissan, where every turn reveals a new surprise.

1. In a David versus Goliath legal showdown, Nissan Motors found itself in an eight-year battle with Uzi Nissan, a man who owned the “nissan.com” domain. The dispute, which centered around digital real estate rather than automotive innovation, ended with Uzi Nissan retaining his claim to the domain, albeit at a steep personal cost of $3 million.

2. The number 23 holds special significance in Nissan’s racing heritage, ingeniously embodying the brand’s name itself. This numeric representation stems from a linguistic play: “ni” means 2 and “san” means 3 in Japanese, making 23 a clever nod to “Nissan” on the racetrack.

3. In a tale that sounds more like a plot from a thriller movie, Nissan’s former CEO made a daring escape from Japan in 2019 concealed within an audio equipment box. This escape was merely the tip of the iceberg in a saga filled with financial controversies and allegations, suggesting a labyrinth of mismanagement and deceit within the company’s executive ranks.

4. The iconic Nissan Z series experienced a cultural transformation upon its arrival in the United States. Originally christened the “Fairlady” by Nissan’s president in Japan, the American counterpart sensed a mismatch with the target market’s preferences and swiftly rebranded the imported vehicles with the more neutral and project-based designation, 240-Z, effectively tailoring the brand to American tastes.

5. In a throwback to the pre-digital era of the mid-1980s, Nissan ingeniously incorporated tiny vinyl records into their vehicles’ voice warning systems. These miniature records, a precursor to the digital alerts we take for granted today, served practical reminders, such as alerting drivers to open doors with a touch of analog charm.

As we conclude our journey through the remarkable stories behind Nissan’s legacy, for those eager to delve deeper into automotive history, dive into our already available exploration of Toyota, where we uncover a fresh collection of fascinating facts about one of Nissan’s leading rivals in the industry.

Seven Fascinating Tidbits You Didn’t Know About Toyota


Vehicles Toyota near the office of official dealer. Toyota Motor Corporation is a Japanese automotive manufacturer
Photo by depositphotos.com

From its origins to its remarkable durability tests, Toyota has quite a few stories to tell. Take a ride through these seven interesting facts about the automotive giant:

1. City Takes the Name, Not the Other Way Around: Contrary to what one might assume, Toyota is not named after its hometown. The city, originally known as Koromo, actually rebranded itself as Toyota in 1959 because of the immense popularity the company had garnered.

2. The Toy ‘Yoda’ Incident: A Hooter’s restaurant once held a sales competition in 2001, promising a “new Toyota” as a prize. What they actually meant was a new toy “Yoda.” When a waitress won and was handed the Star Wars figure, she filed a lawsuit for fraudulent misrepresentation and won a settlement large enough to purchase a real car.

3. The Pickup that Refused to Die: The TV series Top Gear once put a Toyota pickup truck through extreme conditions, like submerging it in seawater and setting it on fire. Astonishingly, the truck still functioned after minor repairs, which were done using only the tools available in the truck’s own toolbox.

4. From Silk to Steel: Before becoming a car-making behemoth, Toyota was actually in the textile business, specializing in silk-weaving looms. Even today, their emblem—a thread passing through the eye of a needle—serves as a tribute to their original trade.

5. Why Not Toyoda?: Initially called Toyoda, the company held a renaming contest in 1936, which attracted over 27,000 entries. The name “Toyota” was selected because writing it in Japanese required eight strokes, a number considered lucky for wealth and prosperity.

6. The Philosophy of Kaizen: In 2013, instead of merely donating money to the New York Food Bank, Toyota applied its principle of Kaizen—meaning “continuous improvement.” Toyota engineers managed to reduce the waiting time at the soup kitchen from 90 to just 18 minutes by optimizing processes.

7. The Land Cruiser’s War-Time Origin: Toyota’s Land Cruiser has its roots in military history. During World War II, the Imperial Japanese Army got hold of an American Jeep and ordered Toyota to recreate it. The result was the creation of the iconic Land Cruiser.