The first twenty years of Nissan in the Netherlands

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The importer recently thought about it: Nissan has been active in the Netherlands for 50 years. The Japanese set foot on Dutch soil in 1966. The first series of Nissans arrived in the Netherlands in 1966: the Datsun Bluebird and the slightly larger Cedric. From Sassenheim, the entry into the Dutch market is managed in the right direction. We reflect on Nissan's first twenty years. During this period, as Datsun, it laid a solid foundation for its position in our country.

1966 - 1976 Compact, economical and sporty

In 1966, the Datsun 410 (Bluebird) kicks off the start of a Dutch era. In our country it is sold as Datsun 1300. It is described as a compact, practical and economical all-rounder. Major competitors at the time of its launch are the Ford 12M / 15M, the Opel Kadett B, the Simca 1100, the NSU 1200 C, the Fiat 124, Austin 1300 and the Volkswagen 1600. The Datsun is powered by an 1.299 cc four-cylinder engine in combination with a manual three-speed gearbox. The factory in Oppama, Japan, builds the model designed by Pininfarina as a two and four-door sedan and as a station wagon.

Sporty car for families

In the fall of 1967, Nissan shows the successor - the Datsun 510 - which is available from 1968. The aim is to develop a light, pleasant driving and slightly sporty car for families. The lines are clean, fresh and clear, despite the classic sedan form. The combination of sporty and light-hearted driving pleasure and practical use options provide appealing criticism.

More and more on the ground

After the first Sunny and the 1200 expand the family car range, the 240Z is born on the other side of the spectrum. 1971 adds the Cherry, or the 100 A. This compact front-wheel drive Datsun is becoming a particularly familiar sight in the Netherlands and perpetuates the potential of the Japanese brand. In the meantime, the Netherlands is also becoming acquainted with modern service facilities, because in the early 1970s not every manufacturer is working with (partly) automated systems for parts delivery. While various manufacturers still work with order lists, Datsun uses punch card systems.


Meanwhile, 1200's successor 120Y, the 140J and the Bluebird (160B) are strengthening Datsuns' position in the middle class, while models like the 200 and the 240 are competing against the established European order. It is striking that most models are available in a variety of body styles. The Micra, Sunny, Violet, Stanza, the 280Z and the Patrol grow - just like a number of their predecessors - into established names in the Dutch car range. And with the Prairie, an important dash of ease of use is added to automobile mobility.

Datsun becomes Nissan

The Japanese also offer - just like several fellow countrymen - their models with fairly rich standard equipment: in addition to reliable technology, one of the conditions for success in our country. The Japanese build their strong position under the name Datsun. From 1985 onwards, the good results in the Netherlands will be continued under the name Nissan, which makes a name for itself with numerous innovations. It means that Nissan has since sold 700.000 cars in the Netherlands.



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