Nissan Motor Co's Chinese joint venture plans to sell at least 1.17 million vehicles in 2018, up 5.3 percent from a year earlier, the Japanese automaker's local partner Dongfeng Motor Corp said Saturday.
Growth forecast for the partnership is cut in half as the world's largest auto market is likely to see growth slow to around 3 percent this year, according to the country's auto industry association, in what would be a second straight year of lackluster growth.
But it will be the fourth consecutive year of 1 million plus unit sales for the Guangdong-based Dongfeng Nissan Passenger Vehicle Co.
The joint venture saw its 2017 sales rise 10.4 percent year-on-year to a record 1.11 million units, representing 27 percent of the total sales of Dongfeng Motor, China's second largest automaker, which also runs ventures with France's PSA, Japan's Honda, and Kia of the Republic of Korea.
Dongfeng Nissan produces cars such as the Slyphy, Teana and Sunny and sport utility vehicles such as the X-Trail and Murano in four Chinese provinces of Hubei, Guangdong, Liaoning and Henan. It also sells Nissan's imported models in China.
Jose Munoz, Nissan Motor's chief performance officer, said the China market is currently a main driver of Nissan's global growth and Nissan will spare no effort to support the partnership with Dongfeng Motor and provide better products in China.
Nissan Motor sold 5.8 million vehicles worldwide last year, up 4.6 percent, Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi, the world's leading automotive alliance, announced earlier this week.
Dongfeng Nissan will celebrate its 15th anniversary in 2018 by crossing the 10 million unit sales mark, said Wang Jinning, company deputy general manager, adding that Dongfeng Nissan must embrace the change in market before it is able to go higher.
Chinese auto sales grew at the slowest rate in recent years in 2017. Sales totaled 28.88 million vehicles last year, up 3 percent from 2016, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.