When the news broke about the Venucia brand, industry analysts, pundits and small time website operators were interested in the brands development, but all interest was lost when the D50, a facelift last generation Tiida was announced as its first car. Industry Analysts derided the Venucia brand as a monkey making exercise for Nissan who would use the D50 as a cash cow to further its profits in China.
The truth is, Venucia is going to focus on new energy vehicles and the D50 is only there as a volume model. Venucia dealers aren’t going to be interested in any new energy cars that they cant sell so the D50 has to be stuck in show rooms to drive traffic, the real long term goal is to establish Venucia as one of China’s leading EV brands.
Nissan’s leaf model is already on the roads in China, it’s not for sale but it is undergoing road testing with various government agencies and media outlets around China, Guangzhou government have been eager proponents of Nissan’s model, although that is probably something to do with the fact that Nissan are planning to build a factory capable of building 600,000 cars per year and a massive battery assembly center as well.
EV cars are a tough sell in China, only a select few cities give generous subsidies to buyers and those buyers have quickly realized that there is basically no where to charge up your recently purchased EV, unless you dangle extension cables attached to extension cables out of your 5th floor apartment window as my own neighbours do to charge their EV motorcycles.
As with all cars sold in China, the Chinese version of the Leaf has undergone some changes. For one it is slightly longer than the Leaf, the Leaf measures in at 4450mm long whilst the Chinese Venucia model is 4488mm, the motor remains the same although Chinese top speed has been cranked up to 145kph, a single km faster than the Leaf. Obviously being slightly longer the Venucia Leaf has gained a little more weight than the other Leaf, an extra 5kg has been added bringing it to 1530kg.
When will we see it? A Beijing Auto Show launch is expected, although don’t be overly excited about seeing it on the market in the near future. We expect it will be in dealers by the years end, or perhaps even delayed until early 2013.