Japan's Nissan Motor Co Ltd will set up a joint venture for passenger cars in China in a drive to expand its sales, a report said on Wednesday.
Nissan is in the final stage of negotiations with Dongfeng Automobile Co Ltd of China for the joint venture, the Asahi Shimbun newspaper said.
The Japanese firm hopes to start operating the venture as early as in 2002, producing small-sized passenger cars based on Nissan's March model, the daily said.
"Global auto makers are vying for the Chinese auto market ensured for steady growth in the future," it said.
"Nissan is accelerating its Chinese expansion strategy, which has been frozen for a while," the paper said.
Company president Carlos Ghosn has been pushing for the venture in talks with Chinese officials since early this month, it said.
Nissan declined to confirm the report.
"We are exploring various possibilities of our Chinese business," said Kiyoshi Ariga, a spokesman for Nissan.
"We have nothing to comment on the report," Ariga said.
But the spokesman said Nissan had been working with Dongfeng group since 1995 through a truck joint venture in Henan Province.
The joint venture produced some 4,000 trucks in the fiscal year to March.
(China Daily 07/04/2001)