June 5, 2012
June 5 – Yokohama – Nissan is tops among Japanese automakers in China and poised to expand that position further in 2012. Dongfeng Motor, Nissan’s partner on the mainland, was the fastest growing automaker in China in the first quarter of 2012, expanding 16% in a market that overall declined slightly.
Venucia’s first production model, Venucia D50, is leading the charge in China. President Kimiyasu Nakamura discussed the D50’s success so far with the Nissan Global Media Center, as well as the reasons behind growth in China to outpace the competition.
Q1. At the Beijing motor show in April, the entry-level brand Venucia’s first production model, the D50, was unveiled. How have sales been?
President Kimiyasu Nakamura:
These have been very good so far. On the 23rd of April we revealed the price, which itself was very much a shock to the industry, simply because our head-to-head competition is local makers, not international makers.
So far we’ve already sold 7,700 units into the markets. This figure I’m very satisfied with. Why? Our competitors checked the figures of their first months, and ours are better than theirs. This is giving us very much confidence, though Venucia is rather new in China, thanks to the umbrella of the success of Dongfeng Nissan itself. I’m very confident it will go very well.
Q2. Looking at another Beijing announcement, Infiniti intends to launch manufacturing in the country. Why build in China?
Infiniti itself is actually a luxury brand, and we have a target in 2016 to have 500,000 globally. China is the biggest and most promising market for luxury models. Our competitors, mainly German, already started to localize vehicles. To make (Infiniti) more competitive, localization is mandatory for us.
Q3. Finally, turning to Nissan in the last month of April, if we take the first four months of the year, sales are up 13.6%. What has been key to the strength of Nissan in China and sustaining that?
I have two points to answer your question. First, our vehicle or product is very much dedicated to the Chinese market. We fully analyze the tendencies of the Chinese market, and our product is very much fit to it. With our Teana, Sunny, Tiida hatchback, or even the soon-to-come Sylphy, we have proved all those forecasts. And the world premiere held in China is our biggest commitment to the Chinese market.
Second, although the growth rate in the coastal areas are struggling, with a rather quiet influence of the European economy. Having said so, if we look inland, at the western portion of China, the growth rate is still 20% to 30%, and Nissan is well-known. Nissan is very strong in China, especially inland in Tier-2, Tier-3 and even Tier-5 cities. Demand is there, and our sales force is targeting those growing markets. This is a good reason.