Octav Botnar

1913 - 1998

The Company was founded in 1970 by Octav Botnar (1913-1998). It was originally known as Datsun UK Limited, later Nissan UK Limited, and had been established to operate the distribution of Nissan vehicles in the U.K. market, for which Botnar had the sole distribution rights under the terms of a Distribution Agreement with Nissan Motor Company of Japan, dated 1st January 1971.

Botnar was born in Czernowitz, then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, in 1913. It is now part of Western Ukraine. After an eventful earlier life, he had come to the U.K. in 1966 with his family, speaking no English. By the time he founded Nissan UK Limited, he was already 57 – an age when most people are looking towards retirement.

Botnar was a highly driven and energetic man with unique entrepreneurial skills. His fledgling Datsun UK business quickly became immensely successful and profitable. He was to become not only the founder of one of the most successful private companies of the late twentieth century, but also one of the country’s greatest philanthropists.

OMC Investments Limited, as his original company is now known (the letters taken from Octav, Marcela, Camelia), although no longer in the same business and a fraction of its former size, continues to give a large portion of its profits to charity. It continues to support some of the organisations and projects which Botnar supported during his life, as well as others, always with the aim of reflecting Botnar’s personal philosophy of helping those in need to be able to develop as independent individuals and to make a success of their lives.

Octav Botnar – A Life, by John Laughland is available to order direct from the publisher at the price of £24.95. (Hardback; 265 pp; 32 pp colour plates)

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