Six months after unveiling its revamped battery-powered Leaf, Nissan Motor Co is pressing ahead with plans for an array of electric vehicles (EVs) in a bid to boost sales of the cars sixfold in five years.
The Japanese carmaker set itself an annual target of selling 1 million new energy vehicles, including those with its e-Power powertrains, by the year ending in March 2023, it said in a statement yesterday.
The plan includes developing eight pure EVs and staging an offensive in China under different brands, it said.
The maker of the Leaf, once the world’s best-selling EV, is seeking to regain the lead it had lost to rivals including Tesla Inc as the rapidly expanding market gets crowded with Chinese start-ups and other established manufacturers such as Volkswagen AG and General Motors Co. Facing a plateauing market in the US and waning demand at home, Nissan is spending ￥1 trillion (US$9.5 billion) over five years in China to help tap buyers.
“Our strong China offensive will start this year, led by a Nissan EV in the C-segment, deriving from the Leaf technology, with a body type adapted to the Chinese customers’ taste,” Nissan chief planning officer Philippe Klein told reporters in Tokyo.
Two models are to be under the Venucia brand, he said.
The automaker sold a record 1.52 million vehicles in China last year, compared with 1.59 million in the US, its top market. China is to contribute almost one-third of its targeted revenue of ￥16.5 trillion by fiscal 2022 under the mid-term plan, becoming the single-biggest market for the carmaker.
Already the largest Japanese carmaker in China, Nissan is planning to introduce 20 electrified models by 2022 in the world’s biggest market.
Under the plan, electrified cars are to account for 30 percent of all sales in 2022, and by 2025, all Infiniti models are to be electrified, the automaker said earlier.
Nissan also proposes to have ProPilot autonomous drive technology in 20 models in 20 markets by 2022 and to offer connectivity for all new Nissan, Infiniti and Datsun cars by then.
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