Production and Distribution Of The DATSUN 240Z

From 1969 Through 1973 Production Of The DATSUN 240Z Never Kept Up With Demand.

By: Carl Beck, IZCC #260
As Of: Aug. 2009

BACKGROUND: From 1960 to 1970 Nissan Motors Built 49,804 Fairlady Roadsters, and Exported 44,152 of them almost exclusively to the U.S.

Nissan Motors Ltd. subcontracted the build of these roadsters to Nissan Shatia Koki, a company that Nissan Motors Ltd. held a 16% ownership of at the time.

When production was started for the Z Cars, they were produced along with the Roadsters for the first few months of Production. Demand however was so great for the Z Cars that only 1285 Roadsters were produced in 1970 before production was terminated. 1201 Roadsters were exported that year. In the past 11 years, Sports Car Sales had averaged about 4,500 units per year, or about 375 units per month. 1968 represented the peak sales year when some 13,690 units were produced and 12,699 units exported. Peak production averaging some 1,140 units per month.

In the book they wrote, Mr. Katayama and Mr. Matsuo tell us that they projected sales of 3,000 units per month for the Z Car; however Nissan's top Management rejected that number as wildly optimistic and decided to continue production at the same Nissan Shatia Koki facility.

Mr. Matsuo wrote; "... management elected to continue using Nissan Shatai. At that time, they were located in an old pre-war wooden factory, with bodies being moved around the works on dollies. The situation later proved to be wholly inadequate. "


Between 1 May 1969 And 31 Dec. 1969, 543 DATSUN 240Z's Were Produced. 540 Were HLS30 Left Hand Drive Models and 3 Were HS30 Right Hand Drive Models.

HLS30 Left Hand Drive Datsun 240Z
HLS30 00001 through HLS30 00003 could be called Production Engineering Prototypes Which Did Not Leave The Factory.

HLS30 00004 and HLS30 00005 were sent to the U.S. for North American Road Testing, 2 Oct. 1969, then returned to Japan

HLS30 00006, HLS30 00007 and HLS30 00008 were sent to the U.S. for Press Reviews and the International Auto Show Circuit in Oct. of 1969. All three went to compeition teams and were not sold to the public.

HLS30 00009, HLS30 00010, HLS30 00011 and HLS30 00012 are as of this date unaccounted for.

HLS30 00013 was the first regular production DATSUN 240Z released for Public Sale. It is currently in the hands of its third owner.

HS30 Right Hand Drive Datsun 240Z
HS30 00001 Could be called a Production Engineering Prototype.

HS30 00002 May have been a Manufacturing Prototype.

HS30 00003 was the first regular production Right Hand Drive, DATSUN 240Z released for Public Sale. The month of its production is not presently known. Datsun 240Z's sold outside North America did not received the data plates that establish month and year of production. This 240Z has so far not been located. HS30 00004 was built some time after 1 Jan. 1970. It arrived in Australia in March of 1970 and was held by a local Datsun Distributor for some time before being sold. It has been found and restored in Australia.

1970 Through 1973 PRODUCTION

According To Nissan Released Production Numbers: Datsun 240Z's Exported From Japan 1969 though 1973. Note- it is possible that the last few months of 1973, were in fact the 1974 Model Year 260Z;s. So it is possible that the difference between total units produced of 168,584 and 240Z's produced of 164,616 could be 3968 260Z's produced in Oct. Nov. and Dec. of 1973.
1969   =      3
1970   = 17,005
1971   = 40,219
1972   = 60,025
1973   = 51,332
         ------ Total 168,584

According To Nissan's 280ZX Book, Production and Distribution For The Datsun 240Z Looked like this:
USA CanadaAustralia Great BritainOthers
197016,215 1201319 23
197133,684 3440894 26489
197252,628 4020362 549494
197345,588 2537783 1,114430

Sub-totals    148,115     11,198      2,358        1,929       1,016

Total 164,616

"Others" above include  HLS30
Germany  112
Holland  232
France   672

Australia and G.B.are HS30  4,287

USA        = 90.0%
Canada     =  6.9%
Others     =  0.6%
Australia  =  1.4%
G. B.      =  1.1%

It is important to note that in 1970 while the U.S. and Canada had open markets, G.B. and most European Countries maintained the restrictive trade tariffs imposed after WW-II. This resulted in greatly restricted market penetration by Nissan in these countries, as much as Nissian's limited production and distribution capacity did at the time. Import duties and trade tariffs were maintained in Europe and G.B. well into the late 90's.