Three reasons I'm optimistic about Nissan's future in China

by Lei Xing   2018-08-15

Source: Company News Release    by José Muñoz

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Nissan Motor Co. sold 720,447 vehicles in China in the first half of 2018, up 10.7 percent and vaulting into the top performing Japanese automaker in China. José Muñoz, who was appointed the chairman of Management Committee for China (MC China) on April 1 in addition to his role as chief performance officer (CPO) since November 2016, recently commented on the Chinese market in a blog post published by Nissan. Here is the post in its entirety. – Editor

As the Chief Performance Officer of Nissan Motor Company, I oversee all of our regional market operations. I have, quite literally, been around the world and back in the automotive business. And I have never seen a region with so much potential as I see in China right now.

The Nissan Group remains very strong in China. After 15 years of growth, Dongfeng Nissan’s annual production and sales volume has broken one million units, and cumulative production and sales volume has exceeded nine million units. But Nissan has even bigger plans in store when it comes to our China business.

Here are three reasons why I'm excited about Nissan's future in China – and the future, period.


First – the commitment to being "home grown" in China 

You might think that being a Japanese company would be a hurdle to our success in China. Actually, the opposite is true.

Nissan is a global company, but with a very strong Japanese DNA and deep roots in China. I am especially proud that the Nissan group was one of the first Japanese auto companies in China back in 1973 and now, 45 years later, Nissan remains the #1 Japanese brand in China.

But an important ingredient to our success in China is staying committed growing within the entire China ecosystem from production and product innovation to our dealers, suppliers, and all of our partners.  That includes our close partnership with Dongfeng Motors, one of China’s most respected and trusted automakers.

We believe that our joint partnership with Donfeng is critical to ensuring that the cars we design, build, and sell deliver the greatest possible value to our Chinese customers. China is unlike anywhere else, and the vehicles sold in China must reflect those unique attributes. Not only do we design and build our vehicles "in China and for China," but we ensure it's done by China's talented workforce, and we are committed to its development at an earlier stage.

One example is our Nissan Dream Classroom program which takes the STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics) approach to open the fields of science to the next generation of car designers, car makers, and yes…car customers.

While Nissan's joint partnership is 15 years old this year, we have more than 45 years of history in China to draw from – and many more years ahead of us. What happens with the automotive market in China will shape the mobility revolution around the world. I am confident that we can keep growing with all of our partners in China.  

Nissan's Dream Classroom opened in earthquake-ravaged Yunnan Province in 2016 aiming to boost revival of local education.


Second – the growing environmental consciousness

From customers to the highest levels of government, there is the persistent recognition that the growth China is experiencing must be managed sustainably, in ways that mitigate and minimize air pollution, traffic congestion, and other stresses on limited resources. That's why China is the number one market in terms of potential for electric vehicle sales. The automotive companies that can capitalize on this will be those who can get not just the technology right, but the price point. Nissan introduced our Sylphy Zero Emission at the Beijing Motor Show this past April. It's the first of what will be 20 electrified vehicles introduced in the China market among the four brands within the joint venture with Dongfeng, not just pure EVs but vehicles equipped with our exciting e-POWER technology as well. From the perspective of Nissan's midterm strategy, our sales of EV and e-POWER in China will reach 30% by 2022.


Third and most importantly – the customers

China is home to the world's largest middle class and nearly 400 million millennials who represent the next generation of China's mobility consumers. Chinese millennials prioritize connectivity, shared mobility and the environment – trends that are driving broad market transformation. We're ready for it. With our joint partnership with Dongfeng, our four brands – Dongfeng, Nissan, INFINITI, and Venucia – form the most expansive lineup Nissan boasts globally. It ranges from the entry-level Nissan March to the INFINITI QX80 luxury SUV to the Venucia M50V MPV, Navara Pickup and Dongfeng light duty truck. In particular, the Nissan Kicks in China is our most millennial-forward vehicle yet. Across this portfolio and into the future, we are working hard to meet the diverse mobility needs of this market.

So for these any other reasons, we see a very bright future in China. We look forward to growing with this critical market for the long term.  

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