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In Japan in 1911 Masujiro Hashimoto, a US-trained engineer, set up the Kwaishinsha Motor Car Works, with financial backing from Kenjiro Den, Rokuro Aoyama and Meitaro Takeuchi. When the first car was made it was named 'DAT', after the initals of the backers. By 1914 a network of local suppliers was developing, but the 15hp vee-twin engined DAT was slow to sell, and production terminated with the Great War. In 1918 the firm was retitled the Kwaishinsha Motorcar Co Ltd, to produce army vehicles. The company was given another new name in 1925; the DAT Motorcar Co, producing cars and commercial vehicles. The 1920s were a difficult period; in 1926 DAT was taken over by Nippon Sangyo (Nissan for short). DAT was merged with its closest competitor, Jitsuyo, makers of the three-wheeler Gorham, resulting in another new title for the company, DAT Automobile Mfg Co Ltd. In 1931 DAT produced a smaller car, the Datson ('son of DAT'). This car had a 10hp engine, so it was called the Datson 10. In 1932 the name was changed to the more euphonious Datsun. Postwar construction of trucks and small cars led to an extensive range of cars sold around the world, including the Bluebirds, Sylvias, Skylines, Cedrics and Patrols. The 1967 Fairlady 1500 SR311 sports car led to the Z-series of cars, which were renamed Nissan, along with the rest of the range in 1967. Subsequent models included the Nissan S30 Fairlady Z (1970), 260Z (1974-76), 280Z (to 1978), Cherry, Sunny, Cedric, Gloria, Laurel, Bluebird, Maxima, Violet, Stanza, Silvia, Prairie, Micra, Pulsar, Bolero, Patrol 4x4, Navara pickup, X-Trail, Primera, Qashqai and Murano. A luxury sub-brand was added, the Infiniti range.
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