Log in
Forgot password ?
Become a member for free
Sign up
Sign up
Dynamic quotes 

4-Traders Homepage  >  Equities  >  Tokyo  >  Nissan Motor Co Ltd    7201   JP3672400003

News SummaryMost relevantAll newsSector news 

Nissan cruises in China as Japan rivals play catch-up

share with twitter share with LinkedIn share with facebook
share via e-mail
04/24/2012 | 02:13pm CEST

Nissan Motor Co (>> Nissan Motor) is proving that being late to the party in China doesn't have to be a handicap, and is poised to widen its lead among Japanese automakers in the world's biggest car market with speedy and aggressive expansion plans.

Nissan Motor Co (>> Nissan Motor) is proving that being late to the party in China doesn't have to be a handicap, and is poised to widen its lead among Japanese automakers in the world's biggest car market with speedy and aggressive expansion plans.

Despite being among the last global automakers to enter the Chinese market, Nissan outsold Toyota Motor Corp (>> Toyota Motor Corp.) to become the top Japanese light-vehicle brand there last year for the first time, according to research firm LMC Automotive.

Aiding Nissan's climb have been its cooperative partnership with state-owned Dongfeng Motor Group (>> Dongfeng Motor Group) in the heavily regulated market.

It is also benefitting from an early foray into the booming inland regions and a full product line-up ranging from premium Infiniti-brand cars to light commercial vehicles and compacts such as the popular Tiida model.

After a bumper 2011, Nissan's local joint venture, Dongfeng Motor Co, was the fastest-growing automaker in China in the first quarter of 2012, growing 16 percent in a market that fell 0.3 percent from the year before.

In another step to accelerate its growth, Nissan this week unveiled at the Beijing auto show the first production model under its joint venture's own, entry-level Venucia brand, following China's directive for all foreign car makers to form a separate brand with their local partners to help the country's fledgling industry gain technological know-how.

"We want to be a global car maker, presenting every single kind of product you can find in the Nissan brand - from the luxury, with Infiniti, and the entry level with affordable cars under Venucia," Nissan Chief Executive Carlos Ghosn told Reuters TV at the show. "We're going to be everywhere."

Dongfeng Nissan, the joint venture's passenger car arm, said it aims to add a new Venucia model every year, targeting annual sales of 300,000 vehicles by 2015, with five products and 250 exclusive dealers.

In another move that promises to nudge Nissan further ahead of Toyota and Honda Motor Co (>> Honda Motor), Japan's No.2 automaker said last week it would begin producing Infiniti vehicles in China from 2014, putting it on a more level playing field with dominant German brands that build locally and avoid import tariffs of 25 percent. Toyota and Honda executives have said they have no immediate plans to produce their Lexus and Acura premium vehicles in China.

"Nissan's management has been unsparing and speedy in its investments in emerging markets, particularly China," said Kenji Yoshida, a partner at consultancy PwC. "That's definitely helping them."


All the while, Toyota and Honda have seen their market share slip in the past four years as competition intensifies in the mid-sized sedan segment where their core Camry and Accord models had driven sales. Honda's sales in China fell for the first time in 2011, although part of that was due to a supply shortage resulting from Japan's earthquake and tsunami in March.

Toyota and Honda also missed the trend towards affordable compact cars as consumers sought better fuel economy. Gasoline prices in China have soared about 60 percent over the last three years, to more than 8 yuan ($1.27) per litre.

Both automakers are looking to fight back.

"We were a bit thin in the compact segment," Honda CEO Takanobu Ito conceded. "Our first priority is to add more compact models and increase our sales volumes," he told reporters in Beijing. Honda on Monday announced plans for a new factory that would boost its output capacity in China by roughly a third to 1.01 million cars a year by 2014.

Toyota, for its part, unveiled a design-oriented compact concept model, called the "Toyota Qin", aimed at attracting young buyers. It has said it aims to roughly double its Chinese sales to 1.6-1.8 million vehicles by 2015.

Nissan, meanwhile, is aiming to boost its annual output capacity in China by two-thirds to 2 million vehicles by the end of 2015, and its market share to 10 percent from 7.4 percent.

Like Honda, Toyota acknowledged that its recent growth in China has been wanting, especially considering its top-three standing in global sales.

"In the United States and Japan, we are very successful, but we are only number five (among foreign car makers) in China," said Dong Changzheng, a top executive at Toyota's Chinese subsidiary.

"At the same time, we're not targeting an expansion in sales volumes as much as a leadership position in vehicle technology," he told reporters on Tuesday.


Under a new local marketing campaign that started last month, Toyota has been promoting the advantages of hybrid technology, in which it has a big lead globally but which has failed to catch on in China due to its hefty price premium over conventional gasoline cars. At the auto show, Toyota also debuted a China-only hybrid concept car, called "Yundong Shuangqing", that will be sold from 2015 with a hybrid system developed primarily at its new Chinese R&D centre.

"Gasoline prices are rising so the real cost of hybrid cars for the customer should come down," Dong said, adding that localizing hybrid parts should also lower production costs. "We want to help spread hybrids over the next three years."

Toyota said it would also launch a plug-in hybrid car in China this year, moving the plan forward by one year.

Nissan's Ghosn argued, however, that conventional hybrids were at a disadvantage after the Chinese government last week set a target of putting 5 million plug-in hybrids and pure-electric vehicles on the road between now and 2020.

The government says it will provide generous subsidies for those cars as long as they use batteries procured locally. Under the policy, foreign battery makers will only be able to manufacture in a minority-held joint venture, raising concerns over technology transfer.

Nissan, which has made zero-emission leadership a major pillar of its global strategy, has committed to building electric cars in China by 2015, under the Venucia brand. Ghosn said Nissan and its French partner, Renault SA (>> RENAULT), were prepared to follow any guideline put forward by Beijing.

"I think Nissan's run will continue," said Credit Suisse auto analyst Kunihiko Shiohara, noting that success in China hinged not just on product-competitiveness but factors such as good relations with the government. "In that respect, Nissan seems much more committed and is in a better position."

($1 = 6.3088 Chinese yuan)

(Additional reporting by Max Duncan; Editing by Alex Richardson)

By Chang-Ran Kim

share with twitter share with LinkedIn share with facebook
share via e-mail
Latest news on NISSAN MOTOR CO LTD
10/22 NISSAN MOTOR : Woman charged in pellet gun shooting of NYPD cop
10/22 NISSAN MOTOR : The supply of spare parts for Nissan cars
10/21 NISSAN MOTOR : Shooting in Bishop Ford in Chicago, 1 injured
10/21 NISSAN MOTOR : GT-R NISMO makes debut at Jeddah’s EXCS Show
10/21 Nissan to make Brexit investment decision next month - CEO
10/21 Nissan Exceeded Honda to Rank 1st in China by Sept Sales
10/21 OUR FRIENDS ELECTRIC : take it or Leaf it?
10/21 Renault-Nissan's Ghosn to head Mitsubishi Motors
10/21DJAsian Shares Lower; Hong Kong Markets Shut Due to Typhoon
More news
Sector news : Auto & Truck Manufacturers - NEC
10/22DJDAIMLER : China Powers Daimler Profit -- WSJ
10/21 VOLKSWAGEN : Audi to buy back 25,000 diesel Q7 models in U.S. - Der Spiegel
10/21 Mercedes car profits help offset third quarter trucks slump at Daimler
10/21 Nissan to make Brexit investment decision next month - CEO
More sector news : Auto & Truck Manufacturers - NEC
News from SeekingAlpha
10/21 Nissan faces decision in the U.K.
10/20 Nissan sees Mitsubishi investment paying off
10/20 Nissan Changes Gear To Tackle Low Sales In Asia
10/19 Project Titan could still be a factor in the automobile sector
10/19 WALL STREET BREAKFAST : Chinese Growth Holds Steady At 6.7%
Financials ( JPY)
Sales 2017 11 381 283 M
EBIT 2017 -
Net income 2017 526 524 M
Debt 2017 5 298 024 M
Yield 2017 4,71%
P/E ratio 2017 7,83
P/E ratio 2018 7,05
EV / Sales 2017 0,85x
EV / Sales 2018 0,83x
Capitalization 4 359 804 M
More Financials
Duration : Period :
Nissan Motor Co Ltd Technical Analysis Chart | 7201 | JP3672400003 | 4-Traders
Full-screen chart
Technical analysis trends NISSAN MOTOR CO LTD
Short TermMid-TermLong Term
Technical analysis
Income Statement Evolution
More Financials
Mean consensus OUTPERFORM
Number of Analysts 21
Average target price 1 248  JPY
Spread / Average Target 23%
Consensus details
EPS Revisions
More Estimates Revisions
Carlos Ghosn Chairman, President & Chief Executive Officer
Trevor Mann Chief Operating Officer
Joseph G. Peter Chief Financial Officer, Head-IR & Accounting
Shunichi Toyomasu Head-Systems Technology Development Division
Celso Guiotoko Chief Information Officer
More about the company
Sector and Competitors
1st jan.Capitalization (M$)
NISSAN MOTOR CO LTD-19.75%41 981
TOYOTA MOTOR CORP-19.30%191 950
DAIMLER AG-16.71%75 243
VOLKSWAGEN AG-7.74%70 666
HONDA MOTOR CO LTD-18.95%54 019
More Results