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Nissan to create new car brand with Chinese partner

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Nissan to create new car brand with Chinese partner

September 8, 2010 12:46 CET

BEIJING (Bloomberg) -- Nissan Motor Co. plans to introduce a new passenger-car brand in Chinese market with its local partner to help meet demand for cheaper models.

The Japanese company and Wuhan, Hubei-based Dongfeng Motor Group Co. will jointly produce and sell cars under the new brand Qi Chen from early 2012, said Hideki Kimata, senior general manager of the companies’ joint venture unit.

Nissan, which makes the Teana and Sylphy sedans with Dongfeng, will be the second Japanese carmaker to introduce a new China-only brand with a local partner as carmakers rush to expand in the world’s largest vehicle market. Honda Motor Co. unit Guangqi Honda Automobile Co. will introduce the Everus sedan on the mainland in 2011, the first car made under its new Li Nian brand.

“What Nissan is aiming for is to come up with a smaller and cheaper model without sacrificing their brand image,” said Koji Endo, an auto analyst at Advanced Research Japan in Tokyo. Demand for lower priced cars will grow faster than for more expensive models, he said.

Qi Chen vehicles may be priced from 50,000 yuan ($7,356) to 100,000 yuan, Endo said. Nissan’s cheapest current model in China, the March compact, is priced from 69,900 yuan.

The new line has a logo similar to the five-stars on China’s national flag and will be known as Venucia when written in English, the joint venture partners said today.

Dongfeng’s Kimata declined to comment on the type of models likely to be introduced.

Shares in Yokohama, Japan-based Nissan declined 2.2 percent to 654 yen in Tokyo. Dongfeng rose 2.5 percent in Hong Kong to HK$13.72.

Electric cars

Meanwhile, the Chinese automaker may consider using Nissan’s battery-technology in its own-brand cars, Kimata said in an interview in Beijing today.

The Chinese company plans to introduce hybrid and electric vehicles within two years and may invest 3 billion yuan in new- energy vehicle projects, President Zhu Fushou said in Hong Kong on August 30.

Dongfeng hopes hybrids and electric cars will account for 20 percent of its production within four to five years, Zhu said.

Separately, Nissan’s Chinese joint venture unit will begin pilot tests of its rechargeable Leaf hatchback in Wuhan next year, Kimata said.

Nissan’s Chief Executive Officer Carlos Ghosn plans to boost Nissan’s production capacity in China to 900,000 vehicles a year by 2012.

The Japanese automaker, which sold 434,448 vehicles in China in the first eight months of this year, plans to begin production at a new plant in China this month to keep pace with rising demand, Mitsuru Yonekawa, a spokesman at the Yokohama, Japan-based company, said last month.

Nissan will start making multipurpose cars at a plant in Zhengzhou, eastern China, and will produce 120,000 units a year, he added. The new plant may ease capacity constraints at another factory in the Huadu district of Guangzhou, which builds the Dualis and X-Trail sport-utility vehicles, Yonekawa said.

Read more: http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20100908/ANE/100909912/1131#ixzz0ywo8h4WL

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Nissan Expanding in China with New Venucia Brand


Dongfeng Nissan, Nissan's Chinese comrade in arms, has announced that it is creating a new brand for the Chinese market. Called Venucia (from the Roman goddess Venus), its goal is to help expand and diversify Dongfeng Nissan's lineup with two brands to draw in customers: Nissan, and now Venucia.

The first Venucia model will be fully engineered and built by Dongfeng and is planned to be on Chinese streets in 2012. In order to get the brand rolling, Dongfeng is readying "design, R&D, manufacturing, marketing and [a] sales network".

Dongfeng managing director Fumiaki Matsumoto says, "In the future, we aim to sell more than one million vehicles annually and the new brand will play an important role by offering practical models with class-leading quality."

The brand's Star Alliance logo is made up of five stars indicative of the five promises that Venucia intends to make to its customers: "respect customers, create value, do the best, achieve world-class quality, and seek the dream."



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Nissan creates brand for China

Christine Tierney / The Detroit News

Nissan Motor Co. and its Chinese venture partner, Dongfeng Motor Co., have created a new brand -- Qi Chen in Chinese and Venucia in English -- to market small, affordable cars in China.

Other global automakers are pursuing similar strategies to tap booming demand in China for cars priced under $10,000 without diluting their global brands.

The Guangqi Honda Automobile Co. venture is building models for a new Li Nian brand, while General Motors Co. and its partner Shanghai Automotive Industry Co. plan to produce more vehicles under the Wuling brand of their low-cost venture partner.

Nissan said the Dongfeng Nissan venture will develop models under the new brand and roll out the first in 2012.

"In the future, we aim to sell more than 1 million vehicles annually, and the new brand will play an important role by offering practical models with class-leading quality," said Fumiaki Matsumoto, managing director of Dongfeng Nissan.

Dongfeng Nissan is one of the fastest-growing partnerships in China, the world's biggest vehicle market. Under China's rules, foreign automakers may produce vehicles locally only in ventures with domestic manufacturers.

Car sales initially took off in China's affluent coastal areas, but the biggest growth is expected to take place in regions further inland where most consumers have small incomes. In these new markets, global brands are struggling to compete with low-cost Chinese automakers.

Nissan did not say what kind of vehicles it would develop for the Qi Chen brand, whose logo evokes the five stars on China's national flag.

Under the Nissan brand, the venture sells Teana and Sylphy sedans and X-Trail SUVs. It will start tests next year of Nissan's all-electric Leaf hatchback in Wuhan, where Dongfeng is based.

Nissan has outlined plans to increase its annual production capacity in China to 900,000 vehicles by 2012.

In the first eight months of 2010, it sold 434,448 vehicles in China. Among international automakers, Nissan ranks fifth in China behind Volkswagen Group, General Motors Co., Hyundai Motor Co. and Toyota Motor Corp.

Sales growth in China has slowed from the torrid pace in the early months of 2010. But the market is still growing strongly. The Associated Press reported Chinese car and truck sales rose 18 percent to 1.02 million vehicles in August, citing figures from the China Passenger Car Association.

From The Detroit News: http://detnews.com/article/20100909/AUTO01/9090358/1148/Nissan-creates-brand-for-China#ixzz0z2VGoXhI

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Nissan-Dongfeng creating new brand for China?

by Zach Bowman (RSS feed) on Sep 9th 2010 at 7:01PM

It looks like the Chinese car market is going to get a little more crowded. According to a report from Just-Auto, Nissan and its partner company, Dongfeng Nissan Passenger Vehicle Company, will be forming a new brand just for the people's republic. Called Venucia, the company aims to have its first products on the road by 2012. With such a short development time, we expect its stable to be made up primarily of Dongfeng products with new fascias and Nissan powerplants, but you never know. Just-Auto says that Nissan and Dongfeng have devoted an entire team to the project, including research, design and manufacturing.

Interestingly enough, Venucia won't completely replace Nissan in China. Instead, the two companies will sell vehicles right alongside one another. Nissan has said that it will provide engines for the project, and that the brand is aimed toward filling the need for inexpensive, quality transportation in the Chinese market.

Dongfeng said that the Venucia project is part of its plan to sell one million vehicles annually. Last year, it sold 519,000 units.



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