Prince Motor Company

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Tama electric vehicle

The Prince Motor Company was a Japanese automobile 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.

The current Nissan Gloria and the Nissan Skyline are known in the USA as the Infiniti M and the Infiniti G (2003 - current).

List of vehicles[edit]

Relationship with the Bridgestone founder[edit]

The Bridgestone founder Shojiro Ishibashi made sure of birth and the end of the Prince Motor Company.[1][2]

  • February 1949 - Ishibashi financed the Tokyo Electric Car Company (one of the successors of the Tachikawa Aircraft Company) and became the Chairperson of the Board.
  • November 1949 – Tokyo Electric Car changed its name to Tama Electric Car Company.
  • November 1950 - Tama Electric Car ordered the new gasoline engine from the Fuji Precision Industries (one of the successors of the disbanded Nakajima Aircraft Company).
  • April 1951 - Ishibashi bought the most of the stock of the Fuji Precision Industries and became the Chairperson of the Board. At this time, Ishibashi owned both Tokyo Electric Car and Fuji Precision.
  • November 1951 - Tama Electric Car changed its name to the Tama Motor Company.
  • November 1952 - Tama Motor Company changed its name to the Prince Motor Company.
  • April 1954 – Prince Motor Company was merged into Fuji Precision. (Prior to this, two of them were owned by Ishibashi.)
  • February 1961 – Fuji Precision returned its name to Prince Motor Company again.
  • May 1965 – Ishibashi (the owner of Prince), Hidehiko Ogawa (the president of Prince) and Katsuji Kawamata (the president of Nissan) signed a merger memorandum.
  • August 1966 – Prince was merged into Nissan.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ 『プリンス自動車の光芒』 桂木洋二著 グランプリ出版 2003年10月22日KATSURAGI, Yoji (2003), "The Beam of Light of the Prince Motor Company", Grand Prix Book Publishing Co., Ltd., (Japanese) ISBN 4-87687-251-1
  2. ^ 『「プリンス」荻窪の思い出 II』荻友会編 私家版 1997年11月16日 "Prince - Memories of Ogikubo" Private press by Tekiyukai (former Prince engineers)Association, Nov. 16, 1997 (Japanese)
This article incorporates information from the equivalent article on the Japanese Wikipedia.

External links[edit]