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Nissan Is Open To China Green Car Alliance

08/09/2010
Nissan Motor Manufacturing (UK) Ltd

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Nissan Motor is open to a green car alliance with Chinese automakers, a senior executive said, as it moves to tap the fledgling industry in the world’s largest auto market.

Nissan, 44% held by Renault, is joining General Motors and others in the race for green vehicles which according to analysts, could be the next industry gold mine.

“It’s impossible to develop electric vehicles alone. Joint effort is a more feasible solution,” Yasuaki Hashimoto, president of Nissan China Investment Co, said in an interview.

“Mr Li had also said the alliance won’t stop at the existing 16 member companies only. It can be expanded,” Hashimoto said, referring to Li Rongrong, head of China’s state asset watchdog who has recently retired.

Nissan, which runs an auto venture with Dongfeng Motor Group, had earlier signed a deal with the municipal government of Wuhan to jointly promote its electric vehicle Leaf in this city. This would be one of the key priorities for Nissan in China next year, said Tsunehiko Nakagawa, vice president of Nissan China Investment.

Beijing launched a pilot scheme in five Chinese cities in the middle of this year to subsidize green car buyers, with handouts ranging from 3,000 yuan ($439.6) for fuel-saving models to 60,000 yuan for electric cars as it moves to cut fuel emission in the world’s second largest economy.

Other foreign automakers are also on their way to China. GM.UL plans to launch its Chevy Volt next year in China, its biggest market, while Ford Motor and Volkswagen AG are also speeding up their effort of improve fuel-efficiency of their models.

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