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GUANGZHOU SHOW: Nissan JV ahead of 2011 target, 2012 uncertain

By Graeme Roberts | 21 November 2011

The US version of the Tiida hatchback called Versa is made in Mexico. Asia-Pacific versions of this global model are made in Thailand and it is also assembled in India

The US version of the Tiida hatchback called Versa is made in Mexico. Asia-Pacific versions of this global model are made in Thailand and it is also assembled in India

Nissan Motor's Chinese passenger car unit will likely sell over 800,000 cars this year, beating its target of 772,000, a senior sales and marketing executive said ahead of the Guangzhou show.

But Hideki Kimata, senior general manager of Nissan's passenger-car sales unit jointly run with its Chinese partner Dongfeng Motor Group Co. (DNFGY, 0489.HK), told the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) market conditions are "so extremely uncertain" that the company is having difficulty forecasting its sales of Nissan-brand vehicles for 2012.

"We're expect to boost sales next year... but given the unstable conditions we see in the market we have not reached a point where we could provide a solid sales forecast," Kimata said.

He cited two "China-focused global models" - the Tiida hatchback [aka Versa or Almera] and its sedan counterpart, the Sunny [Versa] compact - that have sold well since launch in China earlier this year as a reason for cautious optimism for next year.

Kimata also pointed to an anticipated launch by Nissan and Dongfeng of its new China-only brand called Venucia which was developed and is being managed jointly with Dongfeng. He said Nissan plans to launch the new brand's first car early next year. It is on display at the Guangzhou motor show which opened on Monday (21 November).

Kimata said one key factor behind why Nissan is going to be able to beat its own goal on passenger car sales volume this year was those China-focused Tiida and Sunny models.

Including large vans and other commercial vehicles, as well as cars imported from Japan, Nissan and Dongfeng aim to sell 1.15m vehicles this year, up from the 1.02m sold in 2010.