Nissan Motor, Japan's third largest car maker, has signed a US$1bn, 50:50 joint venture with Dongfeng Automobile in Hubei province. By 2006, Dongfeng Motor hopes to sell 200,000 Nissan-branded cars and 330,000 Dongfeng-branded commercial vehicles. According to Nissan's president and chief executive, Carlos Ghosn, the partnership will help turn Dongfeng into a globally competitive automaker within a decade. This deal equals the largest-ever overseas investment made by Nissan, which is 44 per cent owned by Renault, the French carmaker.
Nissan Motors already holds a 30 per cent stake in a light truck joint venture in Zhengzhou. Dongfeng is also engaged in a joint venture with French carmaker Peugeot Citroë based in Wuhan. This joint venture hopes to sell 80,000 vehicles this year, rising to 150,000 by 2004.