Nissan Motors - Japan Car Company Faunded: 1932, Faunders: Kenjiro Den, Rokuro Aoyama, Meitaro Takeuchi, Yoshisuke Aikawa, Headquarters: Nishi-ku, Yokohama, Japan
Nissan Motor Company, Ltd. (Japanese: 日産自動車株式会社, Nissan Jidōsha Kabushiki-gaisha?) (TYO: 7201), shortened to Nissan, is a Japanese multinational automaker headquartered in Japan. It was formerly a core member of the Nissan Group, but has become more independent after its restructuring under Carlos Ghosn (CEO).
It formerly marketed vehicles under the "Datsun" brand name and is one of the largest car manufacturers. As of August 2009, the company's global headquarters are located in Nishi-ku, Yokohama. In 1999, Nissan entered an alliance with Renault S.A. of France, which owns 44.4% of Nissan as of 2008. Nissan is among the top three Asian (also known as the Japanese Big 3 Automakers) rivals of the "Big Three" in the U.S. Currently it is the third largest Japanese car manufacturer. It also manufactures the Infiniti luxury brand.
The Nissan VQ engines, of V6 configuration, have featured among Ward's 10 Best Engines for 14 straight years, since the award's inception. For the truck and bus maker "Nissan Diesel," it is a separate company from Nissan Motors; please see UD instead.
The pronunciation of its name is different in different markets. In the U.S., the brand is pronounced /ˈniːsɑːn/, while in the UK it is /ˈnɪsæn/. In Japanese, it is [nisːaɴ].
November 6, 1880 - February 13, 1967
Japan, with its large population squeezed into very high density cities with good public transit, has limited roadways that carry very heavy traffic. Hence, most automobiles are small in terms of size and weight. From a humble beginning, Japan is now the biggest auto manufacturing country in the world. Nissan began making trucks in 1914, and sold cars under the Datsun brand until it switched to Nissan in the 1980s. It opened its first U.S. plant in Tennessee in the early 1980s and a U.K. plant in 1986. Its luxury models carry the brand Infiniti. Honda, which began with motorcycles, emerged after World War II. Its luxury vehicles are sold under the Acura brand. Toyota began making cars in the 1930s and is now the world's largest producer. The Toyota Corolla is the world's best selling nameplate. Its luxury models carry the Lexus brand. Toyota is famous for its innovative, quality-conscious management style, and its hybrid gas-electric vehicles, especially the Prius, which was launched in 1997. Other major companies include Subaru, Mitsubishi, Mazda, Daihatsu, Suzuki, and Isuzu. Japan's production of cars increased from 3.179 million to 7.038 million between 1970 and 1980, while demand for larger American cars was disastrously falling. Japanese cars are often credited with superior dependability, efficiency and advanced technology..
Honda-Italian Car Company Founded: September 24, 1948, Founders: Soichiro Honda Takeo Fujisawa, Headquarters: Minato, Tokyo, Japan
Honda Motor Company, Ltd. (Japanese: 本田技研工業株式会社, Honda Giken Kōgyō Kabushiki-gaisha?, Honda Technology Research Institute Company, Limited) is a Japanese multinational corporation primarily known as a manufacturer of automobiles and motorcycles. Honda is the world's largest manufacturer of motorcycles as well as the world's largest manufacturer of internal combustion engines measured by volume. Honda surpassed Nissan in 2001 to become the second-largest Japanese automobile manufacturer.
Honda was the first Japanese automobile manufacturer to release a dedicated luxury brand in North America with the debut of Acura in 1986. Aside from their core automobile and motorcycle businesses, Honda also manufactures garden equipment, marine engines, personal watercraft and power generators, amongst others. Since 1986, Honda has been involved with artificial intelligence/robotics research and released their ASIMO robot in 2000. They have also ventured into aerospace with the establishment of GE Honda Aero Engines in 2004 and the Honda HA-420 HondaJet, scheduled to be released in 2011.
Lexus - Japan Car Company Founded: 1989, Faunders: Eiji Toyoda, Headquarters: Toyota, Aichi, Japan
Lexus (Japanese: レクサス, Rekusasu?) is the luxury vehicle division of Japanese automaker Toyota Motor Corporation. First introduced in 1989 in the United States, where Lexus has ranked as the highest-selling maker of luxury cars, as of 2006 Lexus vehicles are sold in 68 countries and territories worldwide. In 2005, the division launched in Japan, becoming the first Japanese luxury car marque to be introduced in its home market. The Lexus marque has since debuted in additional export markets as part of the division's ongoing global expansion.
Lexus originated from a clandestine flagship sedan project that began in 1983. This effort developed into the original Lexus LS, which was the first vehicle to wear the Lexus marque upon its launch in 1989. In following years, Lexus added sedan, coupe, convertible, and SUV models. In 2005, a hybrid version of the RX crossover debuted, and additional hybrid models were subsequently introduced to the Lexus lineup. In 2007, Lexus launched its F marque performance division with the arrival of the IS F sport sedan.
From the start of production, Lexus vehicles have been consistently produced in Japan, with manufacturing centered in the Chūbu and Kyūshū regions, and in particular at Toyota's Tahara, Aichi, Chūbu and Miyata, Fukuoka, Kyūshū plants. Assembly of the first Lexus built outside the country, the Ontario, Canada-produced RX 330, began in 2003. Following a corporate reorganization from 2001 to 2005, Lexus operates its own design, engineering, and manufacturing centers, solely responsible for the division's vehicles.
Since 1989, Lexus has developed a reputation for vehicle reliability and customer service, as measured by independent surveys. Consumer ratings firm J.D. Power and Associates has named Lexus the most reliable brand in the U.S. fourteen times, most recently in 2008, based on its Vehicle Dependability Survey of over 53,000 vehicle owners and problems experienced in the first three years of ownership. Through 2008, Consumer Reports has also named Lexus among the top five most reliable brands in its Annual Car Reliability Surveys of over one million vehicles across the U.S.
The Lexus slogan is "The Pursuit of Perfection.
Video: Lexus History. Lexus is the fastest growing Premium Automotive Brand
Toyota Motors - Japan Car Company Founded: 1937, Faunders: Kiichiro Toyoda, Headquarters: Toyota City, Japan; Tokyo, Japan
Toyota Motor Corporation (Japanese: トヨタ自動車株式会社, Toyota Jidōsha Kabushiki-gaisha?) (TYO: 7203) is a multinational corporation headquartered in Japan, and the world's largest automaker. Toyota employs approximately 316,000 people worldwide.
In 1934, while still a department of Toyota Industries, it created its first product Type A engine and in 1936 its first passenger car the Toyota AA. The company was eventually founded by Kiichiro Toyoda in 1937 as a spinoff from his father's company Toyota Industries to create automobiles. Toyota also owns and operates Lexus and Scion brands and has a majority shareholding stake in Daihatsu and Hino Motors, and minority shareholdings in Fuji Heavy Industries, Isuzu Motors, and Yamaha Motors. The company includes 522 subsidiaries.
Toyota is headquartered in Toyota City and Nagoya (both in Aichi), and in Tokyo. In addition to manufacturing automobiles, Toyota provides financial services through its division Toyota Financial Services and also builds robots. Toyota Industries and Finance divisions form the bulk of the Toyota Group, one of the largest conglomerates in the world.
On May 8, 2009, Toyota reported a record annual net loss of US$4.4 billion, making it the latest automobile maker to be severely affected by the 2007-2009 financial crisis..
Subaru - Japan Car Company Founded: FHI established July 7, 1953 first Subaru car introduced 1954, Founder: Kenji Kita Chikuhei Nakajima (predecessor), Headquarters: Ōta, Gunma, Japan
Subaru (スバル?) is the automobile manufacturing division of Japanese transportation conglomerate Fuji Heavy Industries Group (FHI).
Subaru is internationally known for their use of boxer engines in most of their vehicles. The company decided to use all wheel drive in most international markets as standard equipment in 1996. They also offer many turbocharged versions of their passenger cars, such as the Impreza WRX which is well-known in motorsports, such as rally racing. Other turbocharged models from Subaru include the Forester XT, Outback XT, Impreza WRX STI and Legacy GT Spec.B.
Fuji Heavy Industries, the parent company of Subaru, is currently in a partnership with Toyota Motor Corporation, which owns 16.5% of FHI. The company is named after the star cluster Pleiades, which in Greek mythology is known as the Seven Sisters, and in Japanese mythology the name is "Subaru", which roughly translated into English means, "to govern", "unite," or "gather together". The company logo is influenced by the star cluster. The large star in the logo represents Fuji Heavy Industries, and the five smaller stars represent the current five companies that are united under the FHI group.
January 1, 1884 - October 10, 1949
Mitsubishi - Japan Car Company Founder:Iwasaki Yataro
The Mitsubishi Group (三菱グループ, Mitsubishi Gurūpu?), Mitsubishi Group of Companies, or Mitsubishi Companies is a Japanese conglomerate consisting of a range of autonomous businesses which share the Mitsubishi brand, trademark and legacy. The Mitsubishi group of companies form a loose entity, the Mitsubishi Keiretsu, which is often referenced in US and Japanese media and official reports; in general these companies all descend from the zaibatsu of the same name. A keiretsu is a common feature of Japanese corporate governance and refers to a collaborative group of integrated companies with extensive share crossholdings, personnel swaps and strategic co-operation. The top 25 companies are also members of the Mitsubishi Kin'yōkai, or "Friday Club", and meet monthly. The Mitsubishi.com Committee is meant to facilitate communication and access of the brand through a portal web site.
Daihatsu - Japan Car Company Faunded: March 1, 1907, Founder: Professors Yoshiki and Turumi (Osaka university)
Daihatsu Motor Co., Ltd. (ダイハツ工業株式会社, Daihatsu Kōgyō Kabushiki-gaisha ?) is a Japanese manufacturer of cars, well known for its smaller models and off-road vehicles. Many of its models are also known as kei jidosha (or kei cars) in Japan.
The name "Daihatsu" is a combination of the first kanji for Osaka (大) and the first of the word "engine manufacture" (発動機製造, hatsudōki seizō ?) ; when put together they are pronounced "dai hatsu."
Daihatsu was formed in 1951 as successor organisation to Hatsudoki, and by the 1960s had started exporting cars to Europe, although it did not enjoy any major sales success until well into the 1980s.
Since February 1992 in North America, it has been common for Toyota to distribute Daihatsu models..
Infiniti - Japan Car Company Founded: 1989, Founder: Nissan Motor Co, Headquarters: Tokyo, Japan
Infiniti (Japanese: インフィニティ, Infinitī?) is the luxury car division of Japanese automaker Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. Infiniti officially started on November 8, 1989 in North America and its global operations have since grown to include Mexico, the Middle East, South Korea, Russia, Switzerland, China and Ukraine. Today, the Infiniti global network includes more than 230 dealers in 15 countries.
Carlos Ghosn, President and CEO of Nissan Motor Co. Ltd., unveiled Infiniti’s arrival in Europe at the Geneva Motor Show 2008.  The official launch is scheduled in the autumn of 2008 and will be phased over a two year period as Infiniti rolls out its operations across 21 European countries. Infiniti Europe’s headquarters are based in Rolle, Switzerland.
All current Infiniti coupes, sedans and crossovers are based on the Nissan FM platform. The center of the engine is placed behind the front wheels. This placement makes weight distribution more even, which is intended to improve braking, acceleration, and handling. It also reduces the polar moment of inertia. The only exception is the QX56 full-size SUV, which rides on the Nissan F-Alpha platform.
Infiniti's model name designation includes one letter for coupés and sedans (two letters for SUVs) and a number reflecting engine displacement. For example, the QX56 is an SUV featuring a 5.6 L engine. An exception to this was the QX4 SUV, which featured a 3.3 L engine (1997-2000) and later a 3.5 L engine (2001-2003). An 'x' following the engine displacement of Infiniti sedans denotes an all wheel drive model (e.g. Infiniti G35x) while 's' denotes a sport package model on all models, and a 't' for a Touring model (older models only). The logo was designed as an artistic representation of Mt. Fuji.
Mazda - Japan Car Company Founded: 1920, Founder: Jujiro Matsuda, Headquarters: Fuchu, Aki, Hiroshima, Japan
It is said that Mazda coincides with the anglicized pronunciation of the founder's name, Jujiro Matsuda, who was interested in spirituality, and chose to rename the firm in honor of both his family and Zoroastrianism. The word Mazda derives from Ahura Mazda, the Avestan language name for a divinity exalted by the ancient Iranian prophet Zoroaster, as the source of wisdom, intelligence and harmony.
In Japanese, the company's name has always been pronounced and spelled as "Matsuda", the name of the founder. Television ads for Mazda automobiles in the United States use a pronunciation where the initial vowel sound is the 'a' in "father", while Canadian Mazda advertisements pronounce the company's name with the initial "a" sound of the word "has". The initial vowel sounds (in the American and Canadian advertisements) are references to the first and last A sounds in the original Persian pronunciation.
Suzuki - Japan Car Company Founded: 1909, Founder: Michio Suzuki, Headquarters: Hamamatsu, Shizuoka, Japan
Suzuki Motor Corporation (スズキ株式会社, Suzuki Kabushiki-Kaisha?) is a Japanese multinational corporation headquartered in Hamamatsu, Japan that specializes in manufacturing compact automobiles, a full range of motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), outboard marine engines, wheelchairs and a variety of other small internal combustion engines. Suzuki is the 9th largest automobile manufacturer in the world by production volume, employs over 45,000 people, has 35 main production facilities in 23 countries and 133 distributors in 192 countries.
"Suzuki" is pronounced [suzuki] in Japanese, with a high tone on the [ki]. It is pronounced /səˈzuːki/ sə-ZOO-kee in English, with a stressed zu. This pronunciation is used by the Suzuki company in marketing campaigns directed towards this demographic.