As part of a push to become one of the top auto manufacturers operating in the country, Nissan will be pumping 60 billion yuan ($9.5 billion) into its operations in China over the next 5 years, company execs have revealed.
The plan, reportedly, is to focus on plug-in electric vehicles and on the Venucia, Nissan, and Infiniti brands — with the intent being to boost local sales volume to 2.6 million vehicles a year by 2022 — in cooperation with its local joint-venture partner Dongfeng Group. Currently Nissan sells around 1.5 million vehicles a year in China (the world’s largest auto market).
The new “Triple One” strategy will presumably see sales of a rebranded version of the new Nissan Leaf as a focus, but reportedly there will also be an attempt to increase the sale of commercial light-duty vans, trucks, etc.
The head of Nissan’s operations in China, Jun Seki, was quoted by Reuters as saying: “We aim to break away from this second-tier group and become a top-3 China automaker. We need to go full-throttle aggressive. If we didn’t do that, we would fall behind and fail to grab market share otherwise we could take.”
Reuters provides more:
“China’s auto market has been dominated by General Motors Co and Volkswagen AG for nearly two decades, with each of them selling 4 million vehicles last year. Nissan, along with Toyota Motor Corp, Ford Motor Co, and Honda Motor Co, lag far behind, each selling 1 million-plus vehicles a year.
“Still, more critical a strategy is Nissan’s electrification plan. Seki said the joint venture will launch as many as 20 electrified vehicle models across all brands in an effort to sell roughly 700,000 such cars a year by 2022 excluding electric light commercial vehicles, using a combination of all-electric battery vehicles and so-called ‘e-Power’ hybrids…In order to generate large enough EV volume, Nissan plans to come up with lower-cost electric cars by locally sourcing electric motors and other key EV components from suppliers in China.”
While I know some commentators object to the classification of series-hybrids as “electric vehicles,” I’m personally fairly indifferent on the matter. Combustion is indeed much more complete in series-hybrid vehicles than it is in other vehicles that use petrol, so while they aren’t quite as good an option (from the perspective of air pollution) they are a definite step in the right direction.
It’s notable on that count, that the Nissan Note e-Power is now one of the company’s best selling models in the markets where it’s offered (though this appears to be true of the new all-electric Nissan Leaf as well).
I’ll end things here with this quote from Seki (concerning Venucia offerings in the year 2019…): “We expect EV and e-power hybrid business to become profitable.”