Nissan Motor Company was founded as the Kwaishinsha Motorcar Works, which produced its first car, the DAT, in 1914. DAT is an acronym for the names of the company's three principal partners. During the 1920s, the company was reorganized as the DAT Automobile Manufacturing Company, and its new car was called the 'DATSON'—son of DAT. Respelled as Datsun, the name was used on the company's cars until 1983. After a 1933 merger with car manufacturer Nihon Sangyo (popularly called 'Ni-San'), the company changed its name again to become Nissan Motor Company, and is now one of Japan's biggest and most successful car companies. In the late 1960s, Nissan developed potent overhead cam four- and six-cylinder engines, and used them to power two extremely successful new cars: the Datsun Bluebird/510 sedan and the Fairlady/240Z sports car. These cars gained Nissan worldwide recognition for their low cost and high performance. In 1969, Nissan introduced the potent Skyline GT-R, sports sedan and coupe, powered by a long line of inline six-cylinder engine. The Skyline has continued to be refined over the years. The GT-R supercar was named the 2009 Motor Trend Car of the Year. The GT-R also broke the eight-minute barrier when it registered the world's fastest lap time for a mass-produced supercar at the Nürburgring circuit.

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