Nissan Motor said on Sunday that it would sell China-developed electric vehicles (EVs) globally, as part of a deal with the country’s top university to leverage local resources to accelerate electrification research and development.
Masashi Matsuyama, vice president of Nissan Motor and president of Nissan China, told reporters in Beijing that the Japanese automaker is considering exporting its existing internal combustion engine vehicles as well as upcoming pure electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles manufactured and developed in China to overseas markets.
According to him, Nissan is considering entering the same markets as Chinese rivals such as BYD.
The company is joining foreign brands such as Tesla, BMW, and Ford in increasing their exports of Chinese-made vehicles in order to capitalize on the country’s lower manufacturing costs and increase factory capacity utilization.
China accounted for slightly more than a fifth of Nissan’s global sales of approximately 2.8 million vehicles in the first ten months of the year, down from more than a third in the same period last year.
Nissan announced plans to establish a joint research center with China’s top university, Tsinghua, next year, to focus on EV research and development, including charging infrastructure and battery recycling.
“We hope that this collaboration will help us gain a deeper understanding of the Chinese market and develop strategies that better meet the needs of our customers in China,” Nissan President and CEO Makoto Uchida said in a statement.
The research center is an extension of the company’s joint research efforts with Tsinghua that began in 2016 and focused on intelligent mobility and autonomous driving technology.