In September of 1909, a legend was born. Yutaka Katayama was the first president of Nissan and would later become known as Mr. K. Mr. K passed away on February 19, 2015 at the age of 105.
Nissan released the following statement following the news of Katayama’s passing, “Yutaka Katayama (Mr. ‘K’) was a passionate ambassador for the Datsun and Nissan brands and our condolences go out to his family and friends. His more than 80 years in the car business included an induction into both the American and Japanese Automotive Hall of Fames. He was a pioneer on both sides of the Pacific, and we are grateful for his service to Nissan and his passion for our brands.”
Katayama was an important part of the automotive industry for nearly 80 years. He first started with Nissan in 1935 and was part of the Administration Department handling publicity and advertising. He then spent part of his career filming motor sport races around the world and played a pivotal role in building the Datsun brand here in the United States.
One of his most hailed achievements was creating the key concepts for the Z-car, one of the most exceptional sports cars on the road.
He retired from the company in 1977 and was inducted into the American Automotive Hall of Fame in 1998.
To learn more about Katayama’s legacy in the automotive industry, watch these three short videos where he discusses his life with cars.