|Prince Jidōsha Kōgyō Kabushiki-gaisha|
|Founded||June 30, 1947(Foundation of the Tokyo Electric Car Company)|
|Defunct||August 1, 1966|
|Fate||Merged into Nissan|
|Subsidiaries||Rhythm Friend Manufacturing (current THK Rhythm)|
The Prince Motor Company (Japanese: プリンス自動車工業株式会社) was an automobile marque from Japan which eventually merged into Nissan in 1966. It began as the Tachikawa Aircraft Company, a manufacturer of various airplanes for the Japanese Army in World War II, e.g., the Ki-36, Ki-55 and Ki-74. Tachikawa Aircraft Company was dissolved after the war and the company took the name Fuji Precision Industries. It diversified into automobiles, producing an electric car, the Tama, in 1946, named for the region the company originated in, Tama, using the Ohta series PC/PD platform. The company changed its name to Prince in 1952 to honor Akihito's formal investiture as Crown Prince of the nation. In 1954 they changed their name back to Fuji Precision Industries, and in 1961 changed the name back again to Prince Motor Company. In 1966, they became part of Nissan, while the Prince organization remained in existence inside Nissan, as Nissan Prince Store in Japan until Nissan consolidated the Prince dealership network into "Nissan Blue Stage" in 1999.
Prince had success building luxury automobiles. Among its most famous car lines were the Skyline and Gloria, both of which were absorbed into the Nissan range and continued after their 1966 merger; however, Prince 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 former Nissan Gloria and the Nissan Skyline are known in the USA as the Infiniti M (2003 - 2004) and the Infiniti G (2003 - 2006).
Up to 1961, Prince used a four-letter model code for its vehicles. The first letter stood for the engine code (A was 1500 cc, B was 1900 cc), the second letter stood for the chassis model, the third letter stood for the body type (S for sedan, F for cabover truck, V for van, P for pickup truck and so on) and the fourth letter was the order of production. A fifth letter was sometimes added, and this was the model version (S for standard, D for deluxe). A number was added to the end to delineate revisions of the same model. This number was a Roman numeral until 1956, after which it was an Arabic numeral.
From 1962, Prince switched to a alpha-numeric code, similar to what Nissan would eventually use.
The Prince Motor Company had two origins.