Zoe, Europe's best-selling electric-vehicle, will be the base for self-driving prototype in Wuhan.
Nissan's proverbial other shoe has dropped on the other side of the world. The Japanese automaker, along with Chinese company Dongfeng, has started selling the Venucia e30 battery-electric vehicle in the world's most populous country. How the sister vehicle to the Nissan Leaf will fare remains to be seen, but it's a pretty big bet.
Global automakers have been moving largely towards global products, but that doesn't mean it can't tweak them for local tastes. Take Honda, for example, and its new compact crossover. Unveiled late last year as the Vezel, the crossover is expected to arrive in Europe and North America as the HR-V. But in China, it's being called the XR-V and adopts the form you see here.
The upcoming Chinese version of the Nissan Leaf, the Venucia e30, was not the highlight of the Dongfeng Nissan stand at this year's Beijing Motor Show. That honor goes to the R30, a compact car with "segment-competitive fuel economy" and a starting price of under RMB 50,000 ($8,033 US). But that doesn't mean Dongfeng didn't make some news about the debut of the world's most popular electric vehicle in the world's most populous country.
PSA Peugeot-Citroën may have been saved from the brink of collapse. It has finally completed a deal where Chinese automaker Dongfeng and the French government are each investing about 800-million euros ($1.1 billion USD) to take 14 percent stakes in the automaker, according to the BBC. The deal dilutes the Peugeot family's stake from 25.4 percent to 14 percent. In addition to that, it is raising another 1.4 billion euros ($1.9 billion) from existing PSA investors. The deal still must be app
The name for the Chinese version of the all-electric Nissan Leaf has a real touchy-feely vibe to it, if you can get past the snickering. The Japanese automaker and its Chinese collaborator, Dongfeng, will sell the EV as part of the partnership's Venucia advanced-powertrain sub-brand. The companies used the recent Guangzhou Auto Show to announce that the model will be called the "Morning Wind," according to China Car Times. No word on whether the reporter was cracking up while typing those words.
PSA Peugeot Citroën, the European automaking giant responsible for forbidden fruit like the Citroën DS3 and Peugeot RCZ, has been struggling mightily, with a 510-million euro operating loss ($689.2M USD) in the first half of 2013, while cutting over 11,000 jobs and closing a plant, all in a bid to stop hemorrhaging cash. Help could be on the way, though, thanks to one of China's many emergent automakers, Dongfeng.
Nissan has a joint venture in China with Dongfeng to make passenger vehicles, and last year the two companies created a sub-brand called Venucia that aims to roll out five cars by 2015. With the gasoline-engined D50 and R50 and a pilot program for the E30 electric car already out, this little orange beast, the Viwa EV concept, could point the way to a future offering.
Well at least Henrik Fisker is putting his money where his mouth is. Or was. The co-founder of his eponymous California-based extended-range plug-in vehicle maker, who resigned as executive chairman and left the company last week, did his former company a solid and bought a Fisker Karma from a Santa Monica, CA, dealer to replace his company car, the Detroit News says. He joins Leonardo DiCaprio and Justin Bieber among paying Fisker customers.
Last week, Fisker Automotive lost its namesake and co-founder Henrik Fisker because of "several major disagreements" between the designer-turned-automaker and other executives. After that blow, could there be any more bad news out there? Maybe, if you consider the mooted takeover of the California-based plug-in luxury automaker by the Chinese Zhejiang Geely Holding Group a good thing.
Money isn't the only problem Fisker Automotive has with making more Karma plug-in hybrids (see: battery supply), but the California startup may soon have the cash to help resume production of its $100,000 plug-in luxury sedan. Zhejiang Geely Holding Group has the edge in taking a majority stake in the troubled automaker, according to two confidential insider sources close to Fisker.
At a press conference in Beijing, Nissan chief executive officer, Carlos Ghosn, revealed that the Nissan-Dongfeng joint venture – called Venucia – will build an electric vehicle in China. The vehicle – not a rebadged Nissan Leaf – will be exclusive to China and launch by the end of 2015. According to The Truth About Cars, Ghosn told conference-goers that:
China's third-largest automotive group, Dongfeng Motors, recently announced that it's set to invest a massive chunk of change into the development of alternative technology vehicles. The company's future blueprint shows that Dongfeng will dish out three billion yuan ($459.7 million U.S. at the current exchange rate) in an effort to speed up the commercialization of eco-friendly vehicles like hybrids and electrics.
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