By Fang Yan and Ken Wills
BEIJING, June 14 Nissan Motor Co, the
largest Japanese automaker in China, plans a more than 5 billion
yuan ($785 million) plant in northeastern China, a person with
knowledge of the plan told Reuters, as it ramps up in the
world's largest auto market.
The plant, in Dalian city, is part of a scheme by Nissan to
invest 30 billion yuan in China by the end of 2015, racing
against General Motors and other global automakers which
are also looking to China for growth as more developed markets
"Nissan has a more diversified portfolio in China and has
put out more offerings than many of its rivals already. It could
bring more of the latest models into China and further expand
its appeal with this new plant," said John Zeng, Asia Pacific
director of industry consultancy LMC Automotive.
The Dalian facility, jointly-owned by Nissan and its local
partner Dongfeng Motor Group Co, will have an initial
capacity of 25,000 cars when it begins production in 2014, the
source told Reuters. Capacity would be phased up to 120,000 by
2015 and 240,000 by 2017.
"They will be making Nissan's more upscale SUVs, sedans and
MPVs in the new plant. A ground-breaking ceremony has been
planned for later this month," the person said.
Executives at the joint venture could not immediately be
reached for comment.
China is already the largest market for Nissan even though
it arrived much later than GM and Volkswagen.
Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn unveiled an ambitious target last
July to boost China sales to 2.3 million vehicles in 2015, part
of its mid-term business plan to raise the company's global
market share and profit margin to 8 percent in six years.
To reach that growth target, Nissan's China venture plans to
launch about 30 new products during the period, including an
electric vehicle under the joint-venture brand name Venucia,
Nissan sold 1.25 million vehicles in China last year, up
21.9 percent from a year earlier, twice as many as Honda Motor
, which saw its sales dip 4.5 percent. Toyota Motor
delivered 883,000 cars in China last year, down 4.4