TOKYO (AP) -- Nissan plans to boost annual sales in China to 1 million vehicles by 2012, up 64 percent from last year, a senior executive said Monday.
China is increasingly a key overseas market for Nissan Motor Co., which doubled car and truck sales there from 298,000 in 2003 to 610,000 vehicles in 2007, said Kimiyasu Nakamura, president of Nissan's China joint venture Dongfeng Motor Co.
Targeting sales of 680,000 vehicles this year in China, Nissan is investing to boost production, planning more than 15 new models under Nissan and Dongfeng brands, and increasing dealerships, he said.
''All this means we are planning to further strengthen our China business,'' Nakamura told reporters at Nissan's Tokyo headquarters.
Nissan is also targeting China sales of US$14.5 billion a year by 2012, and hopes to continue to raise product quality, he said. Dongfeng Motor is 50 percent owned by Dongfeng of China and 50 percent by Nissan.
China is a potentially very lucrative market for the world's automakers because of its sheer size, a burgeoning middle class and growing truck demand.
Nakamura said models are being developed to cater to Chinese tastes, including the new Teana high-end sedan, which rolled off the Xianfang plant Monday. Monthly Teana sales in China are projected at more than 8,000 vehicles.