In order to help meet demand for cheaper models in the Chinese market, Nissan, in conjunction with a local partner, will be introducing a new brand of passenger-cars. Nissan and Dongfeng Motors Group Co. will jointly produce cars sole under the Qi Chen brand starting in early 2012.
Honda has a similar venture in place; the Li Nian brand will hit mainland China in 2011. Qi Chen vehicles are expected to be priced between 50,000 yuan ($7,356) and 100,000 yuan. Nissan”s currently least expensive model in China is the March, which runs about 69,900.
The venture will open the door to other opportunities, as Dongfeng is already looking to use Nissan batteries in their own electric cars, and the joint venture will soon begin pilot tests of the Nissan Leaf rechargeable hatchback. Nissan”s plan is to boost production capacity in China 900,000 vehicles per year by 2012.
– By: Stephen Calogera
Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)