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Marque used by Nissan, predominantly for export models from the 1930s to the 1980s. The first three letters, DAT, came from the surnames of three of the financial backers to Nissan, Kenjiro Den, Rokuro Aoyama, and Meitaro Takeuchi. The first DAT was released in 1914, with a small, sub-500 cm³ car called Datson (“son of DAT”) in the early 1930s. Perhaps to tie it in with the Japanese Empire’s symbol, this was changed to Datsun in 1932. Postwar, the Datsun name was retained for exports, possibly to distance the offerings from Nissan’s substantial military involvement. By 1981, it was felt that the brand should be Nissan globally, and the Datsun name was steadily phased out over three years (1982–4) with cars wearing both brands at one point, Datsun giving away by the end of that period. It was retained within Japan for some commercial vehicles.


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