Long established as the No. 3 Japanese brand in the U.S. market, Nissan's record has been less consistent than those of its larger Japan-based rivals. Nissan was established in Japan in 1933 and made vehicles under the Datsun brand for decades. The first Datsun sedan arrived in the U.S. in 1958, followed a year later by a compact pickup truck. By the Sixties, Datsun also was establishing its chops in the American sports-car market with the SPL-210, and by 1969 it had introduced the Z sports-car brand that remains popular to this day. By 1975, Datsun had become the top vehicle importer in the U.S. Nissan also became the first Japanese brand to build trucks in America with its Tennessee manufacturing operation in 1983. At around the same time, Nissan decided to switch out the Datsun name and began worldwide marketing of its vehicles using the Nissan name. The Sentra subcompact and Altima mid-sized sedan become staples in the U.S. market, and by 1993 Altima was the best-selling new nameplate in America. Globally, however, Nissan was facing the pressures of industry consolidation, and in 1999 it joined forces with similarly ailing Renault. Renault chief Carlos Ghosn took over joint headship and immediately began reviving the combined entity. Today, Nissan remains one of the mainstream Big Six automakers in the U.S.