Yutaka Katayama

Inducted 1998

Led Nissan of America to success in the American car market

Introduced the Datsun 510, the Datsun 240 Z and the first small pick-up truck in America

Established a vast network of service-oriented dealerships and built technical schools to teach dealers and mechanics the importance of superior service

Yutaka Katayama’s passion for cars, people and America helped him to face the competition. In 1960, Datsun (Nissan’s brand name in the United States at the time) entered a strong American market that featured larger cars. Katayama tracked changes in what American car-buyers wanted. Shunning conventional widsom, he created and promoted cars and trucks designed for a new type of consumer. The Datsun 510 of 1968 became a pacesetter in the industry, followed by the very popular Datsun 240 Z sports car in 1970. A strong advocate of customer service, Katayama, or “Mr. K” as he is affectionately known, stated that “A car sales doesn’t stop at payment or delivery — that is simply the beginning.” Under the leadership of Yutaka Katayama, Nissan of America ushered in a generation of vehicles that redefined the American car market.

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