Nissan to focus on emerging markets in bid to double share

By Tian Yang (China Daily)
Updated: 2011-07-04 17:08
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BEIJING - Japan's Nissan Motor Co recently announced plans to nearly double its market share in China by 2016 as part of its global focus on emerging markets.

The company said in a statement that it is aiming for 10 percent of the Chinese market and will also increase its presence in Brazil, Russia and India.

Last year Nissan moved more than a million vehicles in China as the country surpassed the US and Japan as the automaker's largest single market globally.

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It had a 5.7 percent share of the total 18 million vehicles sold in China last year.

The company operates a joint venture with Dongfeng Motor Corp producing both passenger cars and commercial vehicles.

The Sino-Japanese partnership has two passenger car plants in China, one in Guangzhou and another in Xiangfan, Hubei province.

It is building another plant in Guangzhou that is due to start operation in 2012 with designed yearly capacity of 240,000 units.

The company said its combined annual capacity in China will increase to 1.2 million vehicles next year.

But that is far from enough for it to take a 10 percent market share in 2016 - which would require at least 1.8 million vehicles in yearly sales.

Shen Li, a spokeswoman of Nissan China, told China Daily that the present target is to first achieve capacity of 1.2 million units and later implement plans to meet the announced goal.

Shen also said that the company will hold to its target to deliver 1.15 million vehicles in China this year despite impacts from the March earthquake in Japan.

Last month, Nissan's production in China almost returned to its pre-earthquake level, she said.

The newly released plan also calls for soaring global sales of Nissan's luxury brand Infiniti, which has a sales target of 500,000 units in 2016.

But in the premium segment in China - long dominated by German brands Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz - Infiniti reported sales of only about 11,000 cars last year.

The company said earlier that it plans to double Infiniti's sales in China to at least 20,000 units this year.

The plan also says Nissan will develop 66 new models in the next six years including new cars and light commercial vehicles developed for entry-level segments and emerging markets.

Low and zero-emission cars are an emphasis in the plan. Together with its strategic partner Renault, Nissan vows to have cumulative electric vehicles sales of 1.5 million units by 2016.