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Nissan opens design office in Shanghai
Last Updated(Beijing Time):2005-09-13 10:09

Nissan Motor Co, Japan's second biggest carmaker, has opened a car design office in Shanghai in a new effort to make its products more suitable for the Chinese car market.

The Shanghai design office, Nissan's eighth facility of its kind in the world, will conduct design research for the Chinese market and co-ordinate with the company's local suppliers, said Shiro Nakamura, Nissan's senior vice-president and chief designer.

The office, which was opened on Friday, will also provide intelligence to Nissan R&D in Japan for the entire Asian car market, Nakamura said.

"China is an emerging car market and we hope to learn the habits of customers here through this design office," said the 55-year-old chief designer of Nissan.

"Hatchback and small cars are increasingly popular in China and this trend will continue."

The move came after Nissan's flagship joint venture with the Dongfeng Motor Corp - one of China's top vehicle manufacturers - launched a US$40-million car development centre last year in Guangzhou, capital city of Guangdong Province.

Analysts said Nissan apparently wants to tailor its products to Chinese customers' demands to boost its rapidly increasing sales in the world's No 3 vehicle market where major auto companies are introducing dozens of new models annually.

Tadashi Ishihara, chief executive officer of Nissan (China) Investment Co Ltd, said last month that China will be Nissan's third biggest market after Japan and the United States with its total own-brand sales in the nation growing to 160,000 vehicles this year, up from 90,000 units in 2004.

Its joint venture with Dongfeng sold 80,000 Nissan-brand cars in the first seven months of this year, rocketing 140 per cent from a year ago.

The venture now produces the Bluebird, Sunny, Teana and Tiida cars plus Dongfeng-brand trucks and buses.

It will introduce two all new cars and a greatly upgraded version of an existing model over the next two years.

The venture plans to increase its sales to 620,000 vehicles by 2007, including 300,000 cars and 320,000 trucks and buses.

Source:China Daily 
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