Nissan is a Japanese automaker that was founded in 1933, although its roots go back to 1914, when Masujiro Hashimoto established Kaishinasha Motor Car Works, Japan's first automobile manufacturer. Nissan started to expand into worldwide markets into the 1950s and established a U.S. subsidiary in 1958. By 1970, Nissan had become of the world's largest exporters of automobiles with successful sales of both Nissan and Datsun vehicles. In 1999, due to financial difficulties, Nissan entered an alliance with Renault. The partnership resulted in sharing of platforms and engines between the brands. Mitsubishi joined the alliance in 2016. Nissan also operates Infiniti, a luxury brand, and revived Datsun as an affordable brand in 2013. Nissan's alliance with Renault and Mitsubishi is one of the largest in the world, competing with Volkswagen Group and Toyota Motor Corp to lead in global auto sales. Iconic modern and historic nameplates Nissan nameplates include the Fairlady, 240Z, Silvia, Skyline, Patrol, Maxima, Frontier, Qashqai, 370Z, Titan, and GT-R.