November 26, 1969 – Nissan exports one millionth car from Japan

nissan datsun export
1970 Datsun Bluebird 1600, similar to Nissan’s one millionth vehicle exported. By Sicnag – CC BY 2.0

In a momentous achievement, Nissan Motor Company reached a historic milestone on November 26, 1969, as it proudly announced the export of its one millionth car from Japan. This remarkable feat marked a significant chapter in the company’s illustrious history of sending its iconic vehicles across international borders.

Nissan’s journey into the global automotive market commenced in 1936, and the steady progression of its exports saw the culmination of a million units by the fateful November day. The company had surpassed the 733,858 export mark by the end of 1968, and within a span of less than 11 months in 1969, it added over 266,000 units to cross the one million threshold.

Nissan and Datsun export history

nissan export
1937 Nissan Model 70, among the first Nissans to be exported. By Shelby Asistio.

The 100,000-unit milestone was achieved in 1963, a testament to Nissan Motor’s resilience and commitment to international trade. This achievement came 27 years after the company’s inaugural export shipment to Southeast Asia in 1936. Subsequently, the export momentum accelerated, with the 300,000 mark attained in 1965 and the 500,000 mark in 1967. Surprisingly, the journey from 500,000 to one million units took the company less than two years, showcasing its rapid expansion on the global stage.

Throughout this period of growth, Nissan’s export markets expanded extensively. Today, the company’s diverse range of products finds its way to over 100 countries across North America, Central and South America, Oceania, Southeast Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Near and Middle East. This global presence underscores Nissan’s commitment to providing quality vehicles to a diverse and widespread audience.

Special gift for a special car

As of November 26, 1969, the one millionth export car, a Datsun 1600 (Bluebird), was destined for Canada. This symbolic vehicle was loaded aboard the Oppama-maru on the same day, with a special memento in tow—a classic Japanese doll. Captain Mikawa of the Oppama-Maru would personally present this token to Vice President Miki of Canada Nissan upon the ship’s anticipated arrival at New Westminster Port on December 14.

Rear view of a 1970 Datsun 1600. By Jeremy from Sydney, Australia – CC BY 2.0

Of the impressive 1,000,308 units exported by November 26, passenger cars accounted for 568,842 units, while trucks and buses contributed 431,466 units to this monumental export achievement. This diversified portfolio of vehicles emphasizes Nissan’s commitment to meeting the diverse needs of consumers across the globe.

In celebrating the export of its one millionth car, Nissan not only marks a historic achievement but also reinforces its position as a global automotive leader, shaping the future of the industry with each vehicle it sends out into the world. This milestone serves as a testament to Nissan’s dedication to innovation, quality, and a shared automotive passion that transcends borders and connects people worldwide.

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