SHANGHAI KYODO, BLOOMBERG – Nissan Motor Co. launched Wednesday a Venucia brand electric vehicle in China, becoming the first Japanese automaker to sell such an environment-friendly car in the world’s largest vehicle market.
Nissan aims to take a 20 percent share of the Chinese market for electric vehicles by 2018, where it expects growth in demand for such cars in a country plagued by air pollution.
The Venucia e30, a five-seat hatchback, was developed by a joint venture with Chinese automaker Dongfeng Motor Co., based on the platform and technologies used to make the Leaf electric car it launched in Japan in 2010.
The Venucia e30 can be fully charged in four hours from a household socket and gets 175 km from a single charge.
With a price tag of 267,800 yuan, or around ¥4.7 million, for the cheapest model, in 2018 Nissan aims to sell 50,000 of the EVs, which will be made at a factory in Guangzhou.
Due to air pollution, the Chinese government is promoting sales of electric cars by exempting them from the purchase tax and expanding the number of charging facilities. In Shanghai, the central government and the city will offer subsidies totaling 87,500 yuan on purchases of electric cars.
In Tokyo, Nissan’s Infiniti premium brand named former Bayerische Motoren Werke AG executive Roland Kruger as president after defections by the firm’s leaders including Andy Palmer.
Kruger, a 48-year-old German national who was a senior vice president at BMW, will be based at Infiniti’s Hong Kong headquarters and report to Carlos Ghosn, Nissan’s chief executive officer, the firm said in a statement Wednesday.
Palmer, who oversaw the Infiniti unit as Nissan’s chief planning officer, resigned last week to lead Aston Martin Lagonda Ltd., after Infiniti President Johan de Nysschen left for General Motors Co.’s Cadillac brand in July. Nissan and Infiniti have been recruiting executives from rivals since the carmaker set up the headquarters for its luxury brand in Hong Kong two years ago.