Nissan: 40 Years in North America

Matthew Keegan

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The North American market has seen some bold changes by Nissan over the years. Originally imported under the Datsun name, Nissan cars in Canada and the US made the switch over to the new name in the early 1980s and the company hasn’t been the same since. A broader line up and the introduction of the luxurious Infiniti brand in the late 1980s changed the face of Nissan tremendously. The winners are consumers everywhere who can get a great vehicle for a fair price.

It was in 1965 when the first Datsuns arrived in Canada. Who could forget the 1600cc 510 wagon with a 4 speed manual transmission? The only thing that could kill this car was rust and a rust bucket it was at that. Or, how about the 620 pick up? A great little hauler that is in a league of its own. My personal favorite was the 720 pick up truck equipped with a diesel engine. A good, sturdy truck that really sipped fuel.

Today’s Nissan line up is a far cry from the cars that dotted the landscape during the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. For consumers that is probably a good thing too. Today’s line up still offers glimpses of the original Datsuns with the Sentra reminding some of the old B210, but about ten times more comfortable at that too. The Altima, Maxima, and the revived 350Z round out the car line up and when you add in all the SUVs and trucks that Nissan now sells the Japanese automaker has something for everyone.

Consumers are maintaining their Nissans/Datsuns with premium Nissan parts and accessories. Your dealer will have what you need, but remember the prices you pay for parts through the dealership will be the prevailing retail rate. Some national auto parts chains will have a decent selection, but they may have difficulty hunting down the rare Datsun or early Nissan part for you.

A new choice for consumers is auto parts wholesalers, particularly those who sell online. Prices are usually much lower because wholesalers buy direct from leading manufacturers including Bosch, K&N, Hella, Monroe, Covercraft, and others. Still, make sure that the retailer is based in Canada and not charging you outrageous shipping and duty charges for parts shipped in from the US or elsewhere. The selection they offer to you should be great, parts stocked must meet or exceed OEM requirements, and customer service should be just a click of the mouse and/or a toll free phone number away.

Be careful of retailers specializing in generic Nissan parts as counterfeit auto parts are a big problem in North America. Always learn in advance what the company's shipping, return, and warranty policies are before making your purchase.

Copyright 2005 - Matt Keegan is a contributing writer for Auto Parts Canada, a wholesaler of fine Nissan parts and Nissan accessories for your Datsun or Nissan truck, van, SUV, or passenger car.


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