Nissan Forms Infiniti China Venture With Dongfeng

Nissan Motor Co. formed a joint venture with Dongfeng Motor Corp. in China dedicated to producing premium Infiniti vehicles in the world’s biggest automobile market.

Both Nissan and Dongfeng will each control 50 percent of the venture that will sell locally produced vehicles bearing the Dongfeng Infiniti badge and imported models with the Infiniti emblem, the automaker said in an e-mailed statement today. Infiniti China Managing Director Daniel Kirchert was named president of the joint venture, which will be called Dongfeng Infiniti Motor Co.

Infiniti is targeting to increase annual sales in China to 100,000 units by 2018, most of which will be locally produced. The announcement comes as industrywide passenger-vehicle sales in China last month rose at the slowest pace since March as the economy cools and the government steps up anti-monopoly probes into foreign carmakers.

Locally manufactured Infiniti cars will come from the Xiangyang factory of Dongfeng Nissan Passenger Vehicle Co. The first batch will include two models specifically made for China -- the Q50L sports sedan and a stretched version of the QX50 SUV, according to the statement.

The production of Infiniti Q50L will start by the end of this year, while QX50 manufacturing will start in early 2015, the company said.

Infiniti sold 18,279 vehicles in the first eight months, more than double the year-earlier period, according to the statement. Sales rose 54 percent in 2013.

Since July, automakers including Tata Motors Ltd.’s Jaguar Land Rover, Daimler AG’s Mercedes-Benz and Bayerische Motoren Werke AG have announced price cuts following the government’s investigations into over-priced cars and spare parts, which began three years ago.

— With assistance by Tian Ying

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