Nissan plans to increase production capacity in China by the end of next year as the world’s largest new vehicle market continues to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, according to reports in Japan citing a company official.

Nissan is looking to expand capacity in collaboration its Chinese state-owned joint venture partner Dongfeng Motor Corporation, with new facilities to be built in Wuhan in Hubei Province and in Changzhou in Jiangsu Province – close to its existing production operations.

Nissan will increase its number jointly-owned vehicle assembly plants in China from four to six as a result of the expansion. To help grow its presence in this market, the Japanese automaker also plans to strengthen its sales and marketing operations and introduce nine new models by 2025.

In 2021 it plans to launch the Ariya, a battery-powered SUV featuringassisted driving technology that allows for hands-off driving while cruising on highways.

Nissan announced a global restructuring programme earlier in 2020 following record losses in the last full fiscal year, ending on 31stMarch 2020, including a number of plant closures. The company is prioritising larger and more profitable markets that have good potential for growth, with China at the centre of its global strategy.

Nissan’s sales in China were down by 9.7% at 985,474 units in the first nine months of 2020, but were up by 3.1% year-on-year at 803,083 in the April-June period.