WUHAN, Hubei – Venucia, the joint venture independent brand that has operated as a business division under Dongfeng-Nissan Passenger Vehicle Co. for more than six years, has “spun off” into an independent company with its own sales operations, according to an announcement by Dongfeng-Nissan parent company Dongfeng Motor Co., Ltd. (DFL), the 50:50 joint venture between Dongfeng Motor Group Co., Ltd. and Nissan Motor Co.
Venucia has thus become the first ever JV independent brand to be operated under a standalone entity.
“The establishment of Dongfeng Venucia Motor Co. is aimed at further elevating the Venucia brand and boost its development,” DFL said in a statement on February 7. Dongfeng Venucia will be 100 percent owned by DFL and becomes its seventh business entity after Dongfeng-Nissan, Dongfeng-Infiniti, Dongfeng Automobile Co., Ltd. (DFAC), Zhengzhou-Nissan, Dongfeng Parts & Components and Dongfeng Equipment. Dongfeng Venucia, which has a registered capital of ¥100 million ($14.54 million), was officially registered as a company on January 20, while Dongfeng Venucia Motor Sales Co., Ltd. was registered two days earlier.
Both companies will be headed by Zhou Xianpeng, who was recently promoted from vice president of Dongfeng-Nissan to vice president and Party standing committee member of DFL. Four additional vice presidents previously working for Dongfeng-Nissan in the areas of R&D and procurement, finance, sales and design were also named. Dongfeng Venucia will have nine departments including the Venucia Design Center which was established last June.
“We are deeply inspired by the rapid growth of China’s local brands and happy for Venucia’s achievements so far,” said June Seki, president of DFL. “The establishment of Dongfeng-Nissan further promotes the balanced and complementary development of DFL’s imported and locally-made brands, strengthens its product lineup and markets and elevates DFL’s competitiveness through resource sharing and integration and increase in management and economic efficiency.”
The independence of Venucia means the brand becomes an important “chess piece” among a slew of independent brands under the Dongfeng umbrella, and that it will operate on its own independent of Dongfeng-Nissan.
The Venucia brand was established on September 8, 2010 as the JV independent brand under Dongfeng-Nissan and has since sold nearly half a million vehicles. It currently has six major model series including the D50, R50, R30, T70, T90 and e30 EV.
Last year, it delivered 116,608 vehicles and announced its new five-year business development plan called “V+” Strategy, which deals with its operations in four aspects: products, sales channels, services and digitalization. The strategy sees Venucia investing ¥2 billion in product R&D, product portfolio expansion and the enrichment of its SUV, MPV and EV lineups. Over the next five years, the brand is set to launch eight new models, with at least one new model to be brought to the market annually.
Venucia is one of the only two (the other being SAIC-GM-Wuling’s Baojun) JV independent brands that have had significant sales in the market among a slew of JV independent brands such as Everus from GAC-Honda, Ciimo from Dongfeng-Honda and Zinoro from BMW-Brilliance.