Export versions were sold variously as the Datsun 510, Datsun 180B (with 160B and 200B versions) and the Datsun Bluebird. The Nissan Bluebird nameplate began appearing around 1982 as the Datsun marque was phased out in favour of Nissan.
From 1981 to 1985, Australia followed the Japanese convention by calling its car the Bluebird, and had a unique, facelifted rear-wheel-drive version for 1984 and 1985. That car was replaced in 1986 by the Nissan Pintara. It would be replaced by the successive Bluebird, also called Pintara, until 1992; then the range was brought in line with the Japanese model, for the U13 series from 1993 to 1997.
In the United States, the Bluebird was eventually sold as the Nissan Stanza. In 1992, the Stanza became the Nissan Altima. Currently, the Bluebird is not sold in North America; in 1998, the Altima was completely redesigned, becoming a model unique to the North American market.
The Bluebird sold in Europe between 1986 and 1990 was in fact a rebadged Nissan Auster—this was replaced by the Primera in Nissan's European line-up in 1990.
A six-cylinder version called the Maxima was released in the 1980s and became a separate model.
Although Nissan's own materials indicate that the Bluebird name emerged in 1959, some records show that the name first adorned a 988 cm³, 34 hp four-door sedan in 1957, which was part of the company's 210 series. Its engine was based on an Austin design, as Nissan had been building the Austin A50 Cambridge under licence in the 1950s.
The 210 was known for doubling Nissan's production at the time and was the first Nissan to be exported to the United States.
In some markets, this model was exported as the Datsun 1000.
The 210 established an early reputation for reliability, with two of them winning the 1,000 cm³ class in the 1958 Australia Mobilgas Rally.
The 210 had succeeded the 110 series, sold as a two- and four-door sedan and offered from 1955 to 1957. This model bore the Convar or A110 model names and was powered by an 860cm³, 20hp four-cylinder engine. In some respects, the A110 is the forerunner of the modern Bluebird line. Incremental changes were denoted by 112, 113 and 114 codes, with the last model a 113 with a 210 engine.