Both Nissan and Honda are showing (allegedly) Made for China brands at the Guangzhou Auto Show.
Nissan’s joint venture with Dongfeng shows a concept car for its Venucia brand, or “Qi Chen” in Chinese.
Honda’s Chinese joint venture, Guangqi Honda, displays a protoytype under the new Li Nian (Everus in English) brand for the Chinese market.
“While these models are to be manufactured at the plants of the joint ventures, they do not carry the names of the Japanese makers,” notes The Nikkei [sub].
Speaking of names, the Qi Chen and the Li Nian also carry their non-Chinese brand names, which are (see below) carefully chosen. Another indicator that these cars are also intended for the export market, just like the Bao Jun?
According to the Nikkei, Toyota “is paying close attention to the new local brands.” Top brass at Toyota’s joint venture with FAW sent its troops to Guangzhou with marching orders “to take a close look at these proprietary brands.”
According to The Nikkei, Toyota showed a lower cost model to Chinese government officials at the opening ceremony for the new FAW-Toyota research center in Tianjin on July 5. I bet it looked something like this.
As far as Chinese branding goes, the Japanese are quick to adapt from the restrained and low key Japanese style to the more flowery and effusive Chinese speak. Quote from the Venucia press release.
“The brand name, “VENUCIA,” is derived from the Roman “Venus.” The five stars of the brand logo represent the company’s five brand promises. VENUCIA aims to respect customers, create value, do the best, achieve world-class quality, and seek the dream.”