By on December 21, 2010

Japanese makers are jumping on the Made for China (or possibly Made for Export from China) trend that was started by GM with the Bao Jun.

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.”

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13 Comments on “From Venus To Everus: Foreign Makers Create Fake Chinese Brands...”

  • avatar

    I might be wrong on this but I think Everus is the name of a Li Nian sedan rather than the English name of the Chinese brand.

    • 0 avatar

      Guangzhou, Dec 20, 2010 – (JCN Newswire) – Honda Motor Co., Ltd. announced the following information at its press conference at the 2010 China (Guangzhou) International Automobile Exhibition (Press Day: December 20, Exhibition period: December 20-27).

      1. All-new compact sedan model “Li Nian S1” from Guangqi Honda’s own brand “Li Nian” (English brand name: Everus)

  • avatar

    Hi Bertel,

    The question is why? Why do this? I mean, don’t Toyhonssan have worldwide cachet? Why squander brands if they’re supposedly great and consolidated? Is it to launch cars with less content or sophistication (à la Dacia-Renault in Europe) or does it have to do with lingering anti-Japanese sentiments? Or Chinese prefer Chinese brands?

    I sincerely don’t understand this. What’s up?

    • 0 avatar

      It has me stumped as well. Chinese love foreign brands with a vengeance. So much that there are stories in the Chinese press that it will be the foreigners who profit from the discontinued tax present on low displacement cars (which are predominantly homegrown.) And it’s not that China doesn’t have enough car brands. It has so many that nobody really knows how many.

  • avatar
    Rod Panhard

    This is fascinating. How marketing folks go from a name that means nothing, “Everus” to “Li Nian.” Does “Li Nian” mean nothing? Why would they have to create an English version of a name if it’s going to be sold in China? The same goes for “Venucia” and “Qi Chen.”

    And the meanings of the Five Stars? That’s hilarious. I think I’ll go eat some “ants climbing on trees” for lunch.

  • avatar

    So, is BMW going to create a three-letter brand with a logo that’s almost the same, but uses two halves instead of four quarters, and has the initials on the botto… Oh. Never mind.

  • avatar
    Paul W

    “The five stars of the brand logo represent the company’s five brand promises.”
    Or you could let the five stars represent the communist party and the four social classes. Oh wait, someone already used that idea.

  • avatar

    Um… maybe there’s some sensitivity to buying from Japan after the rape of Nanking, Manchuria, etc. I’m just sayin’…

    • 0 avatar

      That HAD to come up ….
      Japanese brands hold a 23% share of sedans in China, pure Chinese brands 31%. In retaliation for atrocities committed some 70 years ago, Chinese now mob Japanese department stores …

    • 0 avatar
      Sam P

      “maybe there’s some sensitivity to buying from Japan after the rape of Nanking, Manchuria, etc.”
      Out in the provinces, maybe, but not in larger cities like Shanghai. The upper middle classes there enjoy Japanese cars (but not quite as much as German cars – my in-laws in SH drive BMWs, a Mini, and built in China Buicks).

  • avatar

    I stand corrected, although Honda called the concept version of the S1 the Everus, so it’s sort of understandable, I suppose.

  • avatar

    Ah, I stand corrected, although Honda called the concept version of the S1 the Everus, so it’s sort of understandable, I suppose.

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