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.
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.
Nissan, which earlier this year said it would start making an all-electric car in China under the Venucia brand starting in 2015, is getting a jump on the promotional front for the EV. Venucia, a joint-venture between Nissan and Dongfeng, will run pilot programs in 15 China cities starting next year for the new EV model, Reuters report, citing Nissan spokesman Du Fan speaking at the China International Automobile Exhibition.
Last year, Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn said that the Chinese joint venture between Nissan and Dongfeng, called Venucia, would make an all-electric car in China by 2015. The news at the time was that this new EV would be something new, and not just a rebadged Nissan Leaf.
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:
It looks like the Chinese car market is going to get a little more crowded. According to a report from Just-Auto, Nissan and its partner company, Dongfeng Nissan Passenger Vehicle Company, will be forming a new brand just for the people's republic. Called Venucia, the company aims to have its first products on the road by 2012. With such a short development time, we expect its stable to be made up primarily of Dongfeng products with new fascias and Nissan powerplants, but you never know. Just-Au