Nissan lays out plans for a recapture of Chinese market share, thinks government EV plans are too optimistic

Jun Seki - Picture courtesy Bertel Schmitt

Japanese-branded cars led the market a few years ago. First they were dethroned by the Germans, then they went into a dangerous spiral as collateral damage from the island troubles. Last year, the Nipponese slowly clawed back their sales. After keeping a low profile for a while, Japanese automakers announced aggressive plans to retake lost market share. Today, Nissan’s head of its operations in China, President of Dongfeng Motor Co., Ltd. Jun Seki came to Yokohama to explain his plans to the Japanese media and the Daily Kanban.

With 1,266 million units sold in the last fiscal, China is the second largest country market in Nissan’s universe, ranging only 19,000 units behind the U.S. This year, China is poised to become Nissan’s largest market with projected sales in the vicinity of 1.43 million units.

Nissan was one of the last major automakers to enter the Chinese market. The company came to China in 2003 with the Sunny. Together with its joint venture partner, government-controlled Dongfeng, Nissan focused on smaller car segments that at the time had been mostly ignored by other makers. Its Tiida sedan and hatchback, introduced in 2005, was a big hit with Japanese customers just as the Chinese market started to pick up steam, and Nissan quickly became the leading Japanese automaker in China. [Continue Reading]