Current Nissan China line includes Geniss minivan

Current Nissan China line includes Geniss minivan

Nissan's Chinese joint venture partner Dongfeng Nissan Passenger Vehicle Company (Dongfeng Nissan) has confirmed a new brand Venucia (Qi Chen in Chinese) and will develop the first new model for launch in 2012. Dongfeng Nissan will then sell passenger cars under both Nissan and Venucia brands in China.

A dedicated team, including design, R&D, manufacturing, marketing and sales network development, will be established to support the project. The team will work to accommodate a wide range of needs of Chinese customers in the rapidly developing market.

"In the future, we aim to sell more than 1m vehicles annually and the new brand will play an important role by offering practical models with class-leading quality," said Fumiaki Matsumoto, managing director of Dongfeng Nissan.

The name is derived from the Roman Venus and the five stars of the brand logo represent the company's five brand promises. Venucia aims to respect customers, create value, do the best, achieve world-class quality and seek the dream, according to a Dongfeng statement.

Nissan will supply engines for the small-sized model, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

Yokohama-based Nissan spokesman Yuichi Nakagawa told Reuters: "The new brand is designed to meet the needs of Chinese consumers. As the market grows so big, we also face a variety of needs from customers."

"This brand is specifically targeting consumers in mainland China and was designed as China's own brand under Dongfeng, developed for the Chinese market."

The Wall Street Journal said the brand would be aimed at satisfying demand for affordable, no-frills cars in China's hinterland.

Dongfeng Motor sold 519,000 vehicles in China last year and is on track to reach its target of 600,000 vehicle sales this year, it added.