Nissan already sell and makes a lot of cars in China. It is the company's largest and fastest growing market. Last year Nissan, in conjunction with Dongfeng Motor Group, they sold 1.25 million cars in the country, that was up almost 22% from the prior year, and they thoroughly put Japanese rival Toyota, who only sold 883,000 units, in their rearview mirror. Honda was outsold by a margin of greater than 2 to 1.
To continue the advance, Nissan has announced a massive $785 million investment to expand the Nissan/Venucia brand in the country. The plant, which will be located in Dalian city, will boast a production of about 150,000 units by the end of 2014, and will double that shortly thereafter. Nissan says it is all part of the plan to sell 2 million vehicles a year in China by the end of 2015.
The plant will bring Nissan's own "upscale SUVs, sedans and MPVs" to the Chinese market, with a ground-breaking ceremony to occur within the next few days.
"China is our largest market today and will continue to be one of Nissan’s most important engines of growth...the Dalian plant in the northeast will be an important addition to our local supply base to realize our sales target of 2 million units in China by 2015. The Dalian plant reconfirms Nissan’s commitment to China and our willingness to continue delivering high-quality products to our Chinese customers nationwide." —Hiroto Saikawa, Executive Vice President of Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.
Unfortunately, and unlike General Motors, who took the extra few months of design time to improve the look of their extended range vehicle the Chevrolet Volt, and created the sleek and sexier Opel Ampera, the designers at Dongfeng decided to use the time to both de-content and make the car look even less visually appealing.
Still, like a crash at the side of the road, we can't help but look. No word on pricing, but performance specifications are reportedly similar to that of the LEAF.