From the new Nissan Leaf to the new Titan, the entire Nissan lineup is unmistakable around Houston, leading many to ask, "Is Nissan foreign?" While that question seems simple on its face, finding the answer to what country is Nissan from is a little more complicated, thanks to its growth as a worldwide phenomenon since its start as Kaishinsha Motor Car Works in 1911. Few may realize that in 2014, for instance, Nissan was the largest car manufacturer in the US! Find out what country makes Nissan, more about Nissan history, and the Nissan country of origin below with the Central Houston Nissan specialists.


So, is Nissan foreign? The brief answer is yes. When Nissan got its start, the company was known as Kaishinsha Motor Car Works, or as it was at the time: Kaishinsha jidōsha kōjō, A Good Company Automobile Manufacturer. This founding happened on July 1, 1911 in Tokyo, Japan. Take a look at some of the highlights of the Nissan country of origin story:  

  • 1914, Kaishinsha Motor Car Works releases its first vehicle, the DAT
  • After several name changes, the company found its niche as a truck manufacturer, particularly during the 1923 Great Kantō earthquake relief efforts
  • In 1935 the reorganized Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. began production in Yokohama, which now serves as Nissan Global headquarters and continues to produce vehicles
  • 1985, Nissan introduces its sport-tuning division and line, known as Nismo, victor in many GT500 championships, Supertouring Championships, and more motorsports events
  • In 2010, Nissan released the Nissan Leaf, which quickly became the best-selling plug-in electric car for nearly a decade
  • By 2020, Nissan has become one of the four-largest car makers in the world, with production in over 22 countries worldwide

    Today, manufacturing plants that make the elegant, impressive Nissan lineup are found in Egypt, South Africa, Brazil, Spain, Ukraine, and 17 other countries around the world. The four Japanese Nissan production plants include:  

  • Oppama Plant
  • Yokohama Plant
  • Iwaki Plant
  • Tochigi Plant
  • So, what country makes Nissan in North America? Though the Nissan country of origin is technically Japan, millions of Nissan are made worldwide, including many manufactured right here on the continent, not far from Bellaire. North American production plants and their models include:  

  • Smyrna, TN-Nissan Altima, Maxima, LEAF, Pathfinder, Rogue
  • Decherd, TN-Production of engines, forgings, castings, electric motors
  • Canton, MS-Altima, Murano, TITAN, TITAN XD, Frontier, NV Passenger, NV Cargo
  • Jiutepec, México-Frontier, Versa
  • Aguascalientes, México-March, Versa, NOTE, Kicks, Sentra
  • While the Smyrna Tennessee plant was the first US plant in 1980 to meet the increased demand for the sleek and durable Nissan, engines and powertrains were being made here in the US in Decherd, TN, as well. The Decherd Plant sends a new Nissan off to a dealership every nineteen seconds! True efficiency.  

    Interested in more than just the answer to "What country is Nissan from?" Get in touch with Central Houston Nissan to find out how you can get behind the wheel today! Or, explore our research guides to learn about our Certified Pre-Owned Inventory and which Nissan fits your Pearland travels. Your piece of Nissan history is waiting to be written!