Nissan is known for building edgy-looking vehicles that offer a respectable amount of performance. The company began life in 1933 as the Jidosha Seizo Co. Ltd. After merging with another Japanese manufacturer a year later, the name was changed to the Nissan Motor Co., which initially marketed its products under the Datsun brand. In 1958 Nissan began exporting Datsun-badged passenger cars to the U.S., and two years later Nissan Motor Corp. U.S.A. was established. In 1981 the brand name on overseas models was changed from Datsun to Nissan. Today, many of the Nissan vehicles sold in this country are built by the Nissan Motor Manufacturing Corp. (NMMC) in Smyrna, Tenn. Nissan is a full-line automaker with a devoted following thanks to a renewed focus on product quality and engineering that began with the new millennium.