Nissan and Dongfeng Motor Group have announced that they will be launching a Chinese-market only sub brand. The new brand will be called Qichen, which supposedly means Venus in English. Their logo is made up of five stars that is supposed symbolize five promises the company wants to make to potential customers, which is “respect for customers, create value, do the best, achieve world-class quality, and seek the dream.” The new brand will aim to provide affordable, no-frills cars in China’s auto market, currently the biggest in the world.
Kimiyasu Nakamura president of the joint venture said that there are a growing number of consumers making around 50,000 yuan (US$7000) a year, who are buying cheap cars. “We have been focusing lately on China’s interior market. Those consumers are multiplying in China’s inland markets, and we would like to come up with cars that target those people.”
Their plan to make cars affordable will include using Nissan’s existing platform and the development of the first model in China, taking advantage of the cheap labour costs for engineers. They also plan to limit the help they get from Japan for R&D.
He also went on to say that the Dongfeng-Nissan venture should drive sales up to one million cars a year in China, but did not specify a specific time frame. The JV company is on target of reaching its targeted 600,000 vehicles this year, while selling almost 519,000 cars in China last year.
This is not the first time a Chinese and foreign car manufacturer is launching a Chinese brand together – we also have Honda and Guangqi’s Li Nian.