The Prince Motor Company was a Japaneseautomobile manufacturer from 1952 until its merger with Nissan in 1966. Prince began as the Tachikawa Aircraft Company, a producer of the famous Japanese Zero fighter planes used in WWII. After Tachikawa Aircraft Company was dissolved after the war, the company took the name Fuji Precision Industries and diversified into automobiles, producing an electric car, the Tama, in 1946. The company changed its name to Prince in 1952 to honor Prince Akihito's formal investiture as Crown Prince. In 1954 they changed their name back to Fuji Precision Industries, and in 1961 changed the name back again to Prince Motor Company.
Prince had success building premium automobiles. Among its most famous car lines were the Skyline and Gloria, both of which were absorbed into the Nissan range after their 1966 merger; however, they also built the 15-passenger Homy which was eventually shared with the Nissan Caravan and the Nissan Laurel, a four-door sedan platform mate with the Skyline, on which Prince had begun development before the merger but was introduced after the merger in 1968. Prince had also begun development on a small car to compete with the Toyota Corolla and Nissan Sunny, but after the merger, the car was introduced as the Nissan Cherry using front wheel drive. The Prince organization remained in existence inside Nissan, though the marque disappeared. Since the merger, the Prince name survived as a dealership network in Japan until Nissan consolidated the Prince dealership network into "Nissan Blue Stage" in 1999.
June 30, 1947 - The Fuchu Plant of the Kosoku Kikan Kogyo Co., Ltd. became the Tokyo Electric Car Company. (Official foundation date of the Prince Motor Company.)
February 1949 - Shojiro Ishibashi invested the Tokyo Electric Car Company and became the chairman.
November 30, 1949 - The Tokyo Electric Car Company changed its name to the Tama Electric Car Company.
November 1951 - The Tama Electric Car Company changed its name to the Tama Motor Company.
November 1952 - The Tama Motor Company changed its name to the Prince Motor Company.
April 10, 1954 - The Prince Motor Company merged with its engine supplier the Fuji Precision Industries. The new company was named the Fuji Precision Industries and the name Prince Motor Company disappeared in the meantime.
April 10, 1954 - The Fuji Precision Industries merged with its customer Prince Motor Company. The new company was named the Fuji Precision Industries and the name Prince Motor Company disappeared in the meantime.
After the merger of the two origins until the merger with the Nissan
February 1961 - The Fuji Precision Industries changed its name to the Prince Motor Company. (The name "Prince Motor Company" revived.)