Historically, the LCV business was essential to Nissan when the company first became established. In 1914, the Kwaishinsha Motorcar Works (Kaishin Jidōsha Kōjō), in Azabu-Hiroo District in Tokyo, built the first DAT. The new car's name was an acronym of the first letter of the company's partners' family names: They included
- Kenjiro Den (Den Kenjirō)
- Rokuro Aoyama (Aoyama Rokurō)
- Meitaro Takeuchi (Takeuchi Meitarō)
At the time, the bulk of DAT Motors output was comprised of trucks, as there was almost no consumer demand for cars. Beginning in 1918, the first DAT trucks were produced for the military market. When the demand from the military dwindled in the 1920s, DAT was forced to merge with Japan's second most successful truck maker, Jitsuyo Motors in 1926. The merger led to the formation of DAT Automobile Manufacturing Co.