Nissan gets OK to sell electric car Leaf in China

YOKOHAMA, Japan Tue Sep 13, 2011 1:13am EDT

A Nissan Leaf electric car charges at the Challenge Bibendum sustainable mobility trade fair in Berlin May 18, 2011. REUTERS/Thomas Peter

A Nissan Leaf electric car charges at the Challenge Bibendum sustainable mobility trade fair in Berlin May 18, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Thomas Peter

YOKOHAMA, Japan (Reuters) - Nissan Motor Co has received approval from China to sell its electric vehicle Leaf there, and is prepared to export the model from Japan, Kimiyasu Nakamura, president of Nissan's China joint venture, told reporters on Tuesday.

"The Leaf does not hit the Chinese market's sweet spot now, in terms of price, but that will change as unit sales grow," Nakamura said, adding that a long-term goal would be manufacturing the Leaf in China. No sales date has been set.

Nissan, which also plans to launch a lower-priced electric vehicle designed for the Chinese market, is targeting annual sales in China of 2.3 million units in 2015, up from 1.3 million last year.

China is Nissan's largest market, where it has a 6.2 percent share, more than domestic rival Toyota Motor.

(Reporting by Mayumi Negishi; Editing by Chris Gallagher)

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