In 1928, Yoshisuke Aikawa founded the holding company Nippon Sangyo (Japan Industries or Nippon Industries). "The name 'Nissan' originated during the 1930s as an abbreviation" used on the Tokyo stock market for Nippon Sangyo. This company was the famous Nissan "Zaibatsu" (combine) which included Tobata Casting and Hitachi. At this time Nissan controlled foundries and auto parts businesses, but Aikawa did not enter automobile manufacturing until 1933.
Nissan eventually grew to include 74 firms, and became the fourth-largest combine in Japan during World War II.
In 1930, Aikawa purchased controlling(?) shares in DAT Motors, 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.
Nissan Motor founded in 1934
In 1934, Aikawa "separated the expanded automobile parts division of Tobata Casting and incorporated it as a new subsidiary, which he named Nissan Motor (Nissan)". Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. (日産自動車 Nissan Jidōsha?). The shareholders of the new company however were not enthusiastic about the prospects of the automobile in Japan, so Aikawa bought out all the Tobata Casting shareholders (using capital from Nippon Industries) in June, 1934. At this time Nissan Motor effectively became owned by Nippon Sangyo and Hitachi.
Nissan built trucks, airplanes, and engines for the Japanese military. The company's main plant was moved to China after land there was captured by Japan. The plant made machinery for the Japanese war effort until it was captured by American and Russian forces. From 1947 to 1948 the company was called Nissan Heavy Industries Corp.
Nissan's early American connection
DAT had inherited Kubota's chief designer, American engineer William R. Gorham. This, along with Aikawa's inspiring 1908 visit to Detroit, was to greatly affect Nissan's future.... [continues]
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