But, as revealed at the Beijing Motor Show this week, the new Venucia "e-concept" looks a whole heck of a lot like the Leaf, albeit in a slightly darker blue. The wheels and front fascia are new (and we like the e-concept's look a lot better than the Leaf's, but perhaps this is just because it's different), but it's pretty clear that this is a modified Leaf. To compare the two for yourself, click on the above picture – the only one we've found of the e-concept – to enlarge and then open this gallery in another tab. China Car Times says the Venucia is a little bit longer than the Leaf (by 38 mm, or 1.5 inches), the top speed is one kilometer per hour faster and the weight is up by five kilograms (11 pounds).
All that Nissan's official PR says is that this car, Venucia's first EV concept vehicle, is called the "e-concept" and "will be built locally in China under the VENUCIA brand by 2015." We've asked Nissan for more information, but for now we're going to go out on a limb and say that Nissan is planning on building a version of the Leaf in China within three years.
Venucia's first car will be the gasoline-powered D50, which will come in four grades and "delivers both high performance and fuel economy." Venucia wants to release five new models and sell 300,000 units a year by 2015.
- VENUCIA also Reveals "e-concept" at Beijing Motor Show -
BEIJING, CHINA (April 23, 2012) - Dongfeng Nissan Passenger Vehicle Company ("Dongfeng Nissan"), the Passenger Vehicle business unit of Nissan's joint venture with Dongfeng Motor Corporation, today launched D50, the first production model of the company's new VENUCIA brand, at the Beijing Motor Show.
D50 is powered by a 1.6-liter gasoline engine, and four grades are available with prices ranging between RMB 67,800 and RMB 83,800. The car is built at the new Zhengzhou plant to global standards of quality and will be available at 100 exclusive VENUCIA dealers nationwide. D50's features include a spacious interior and a powertrain that delivers both high performance and fuel economy.
"The launch of 'D50' is a new start for us," said Ren Yong, deputy managing director of Dongfeng Nissan. "We will continue to enhance our engineering capability and launch a new model every year. Our objective for VENUCIA is to reach sales of 1 million units over the next five years."
Another highlight was the unveil of the brand's very first EV concept vehicle, "e-concept". "e-concept" will be built locally in China under the VENUCIA brand by 2015.
The sales target for VENUCIA will be 300,000 units annually, with a target of five models and 250 outlets by 2015.
The brand name, VENUCIA, is derived from the ancient Roman "Venus." The five stars of the brand logo represent the company's five brand promises - respect customers, create value, do the best, achieve world-class quality and seek the dream.
About Dongfeng Nissan Passenger Vehicle Company (Dongfeng Nissan)
Dongfeng Nissan is a business unit of Dongfeng Motor Co., Ltd., Nissan's joint venture with Dongfeng Motor Group Co., Ltd. Dongfeng Nissan is engaged in research and development operations, manufacturing and distribution of passenger vehicles.
Nissan Global Company Limited ("NGL") is a fully owned subsidiary of Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., the second-largest Japanese automotive company. NGL was established in April 2012 in Hong Kong as the new Global Headquarter of the Infiniti brand. NGL also plays an important role in market research, product planning, and marketing and communications for the Nissan brand for Asia. Taking into account the geographical benefits of Hong Kong, the establishment of NGL is a key strategic milestone to realize the goals of Nissan Power 88, Nissan's corporate mid-term business plan.