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Nissan to Produce Dongfeng EVs in Wuhan to Boost Plant Utilization

New Zhiyin EV expected to drive production amid declining sales of Ariya SUV
Japan
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Nissan Motor will commence production of electric vehicles for Chinese partner Dongfeng Motor at its Wuhan plant by the end of the year, according to sources from Nikkei. The plant, which currently manufactures the Ariya electric SUV and X-Trail SUV under the Dongfeng Nissan brand, has faced declining utilization rates due to sluggish sales, partly attributed to the Ariya’s high price.

To address this, Nissan will begin producing Dongfeng’s new Zhiyin electric vehicle at the Wuhan facility. The Zhiyin, set to be unveiled between July and September, boasts a driving range exceeding 900 kilometers and targets younger families. Pricing details have yet to be announced.

While Nissan plans to introduce new models of its own at the Wuhan plant, this process will take time. In the interim, the plant will focus on manufacturing Dongfeng vehicles exclusively.

Dongfeng, a state-owned automaker, markets several new energy vehicle brands, including EVs and plug-in hybrids. The Zhiyin will be part of Dongfeng’s Voyah brand, which has begun exporting vehicles to Europe and aims to reach 60 countries by 2030. Despite limited deliveries of around 25,000 vehicles in the first five months of the year, the number represents a year-over-year doubling.

Nissan’s sales in China dropped 16% in 2023 to 790,000 vehicles, well below its annual production capacity of 1.6 million. In response, Nissan closed its Changzhou plant, which accounted for approximately 10% of its Chinese production capacity. The company aims to introduce five new energy vehicles in China by fiscal 2026, with a goal of reaching 1 million annual sales.

 

 

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