July 26, 2011

Nissan Unveils China Growth Strategy, Plans Venucia Electric Vehicle

July 26 - Beijing - Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn unveiled a new business plan for China on Tuesday, with local partnership Dongfeng Motor Co., Ltd. aiming to raise annual sales 70 percent to more than 2.3 million vehicles by 2015.

To meet that goal, the Chinese joint venture will invest 50 billion yuan ($8 billion) as it introduces 30 models, adds 1,000 dealerships and plans to sell locally built electric vehicles.

China, the world’s largest auto market, is central to Power 88 Nissan’s plan to raise global market share and profit margins to 8 percent by fiscal 2016.

"We have today about 6.2 percent market share in China and we know we have a shortfall in terms of supply--we cannot provide as many cars as the market is demanding," Ghosn said. "I would say the pent-up demand on our product today is above 7 percent already. We want to reach 10 percent."

The first of five models from China-only brand Venucia will be introduced next year, as the new nameplate targets annual sales of 300,000 within five years.

Venucia will also begin selling an electric model by 2015.

"We can introduce the technology, we can introduce the zero-emission cars, and we can introduce them in the best way possible to make them competitive," Ghosn said.

New production capacity in Guangzhou, Changzhou and Shiyan will help the company’s local manufacturing capability keep pace as Nissan Dongfeng gears up for further growth in the Middle Kingdom.