March 20, 2006
DONGFENG MOTOR COMPLETES
NEW DONGFENG NISSAN TECHNICAL CENTER
GUANGZHOU (March 20, 2006) China--Dongfeng Motor Co., Ltd. (DFL), a joint venture between Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. (NML), and Dongfeng Automotive Investment (DFI), today announced the completion of a new technical center for passenger vehicles in the Huadu district of Guangzhou.
Dongfeng Nissan Technical Center, which was built at a cost of 330 million RMB (US $41.1 million) is located on 200,000 square meters of land with space for future expansion. The technical center includes an office building, a separate cafeteria and a laboratory with state-of-the-art equipment for vehicle experiments, making it the largest development base in the southern area of China. The center will begin operating with about 320 employees involved in R&D, purchasing and other functions, taking over the responsibilities of an existing R&D center.
The center will develop new cars for the Chinese market and upgrade them throughout their lifecycles in close collaboration with Nissan Technical Center in Japan and other development bases in Europe, the US and Asia. The center will also develop parts that meet global quality standards and work to reduce part costs through stronger ties with local suppliers. This will enable DFL to respond quicker to customers' needs in the rapidly changing Chinese market.
In reviewing the progress of the joint venture since its establishment in 2003, Dong Dongcheng, vice president of DFL, pointed out that DFL has entered the "localization stage" in China, the second stage of its three-stage plan for China. DFL will now make continue its efforts to achieve the third stage - joint development with Nissan - he added.
"By accelerating the localization of development work and strengthening our cost competitiveness, we feel confident in providing added-value products, including advanced technology, to Chinese customers," said Yoshida Mamoru, vice president of DFL and managing director of Dongfeng Nissan Passenger Vehicles, a division of DFL.
Under its four-year-plan called "Plan 23," DFL aims to increase sales of passenger cars in China to 200,000 units in 2006 and 300,000 units in 2007. A new passenger model Bluebird Sylphy (Chinese name: Xuanyi) will be introduced this autumn.
Coming on the heels of the recent startup of a new engine plant and accelerated investment in production facilities for passenger cars, the new technical center reflects DFL's confidence in strengthening its status as a premier supplier deeply rooted in its home market.
Note: Amounts in RMB are translated for the convenience of the reader only at the rate of 1 RMB per 0.1245 US dollar, based on the exchange rate in effect as of March 17, 2006.