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Loud in a crowd: Nissan range gets grille makeover

By Norihiko Shirouzu BEIJING (Reuters) - Japanese carmaker Nissan Motor Co <7201.T> is going for a facelift to stand out from the crowd. In an increasingly competitive global market - in China alone there are some 80 automakers battling for sales - Nissan plans to put a V-shaped front grille design on most of its models to give itself a "distinct, unified face", says global design chief Shiro Nakamura.

Loud in a crowd: Nissan range gets grille makeover

By Norihiko Shirouzu BEIJING (Reuters) - Japanese carmaker Nissan Motor Co <7201.T> is going for a facelift to stand out from the crowd. In an increasingly competitive global market - in China alone there are some 80 automakers battling for sales - Nissan plans to put a V-shaped front grille design on most of its models to give itself a "distinct, unified face", says global design chief Shiro Nakamura.

Football: Nissan signs UEFA Champions League sponsorship deal

Japanese auto giant Nissan said Monday it has signed a four-year global sponsorship deal with the UEFA Champions League as it looks to broaden its brand appeal globally. The country's number-two automaker -- whose largest shareholder is France's Renault -- did not disclose the cost of the agreement, which also includes sponsoring the UEFA Super Cup, but called it the firm's "largest ever sponsorship deal".

Volkswagen joins rush by Western carmakers to tap high-growth Southeast Asia

By Andreas Cremer BERLIN (Reuters) - Volkswagen has joined a rush by Western carmakers to tap fast-growing Southeast Asian markets to take on Japanese rivals in a region where a burgeoning middle class has money to spend. Volkswagen is seeking to set up operations in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries where the German group has one of the few remaining gaps in its global factory network that encompasses more than 100 facilities.

Nissan believes Thai political turmoil temporary, pushes expansion plans in Southeast Asia

MANILA, Philippines - Japan's second largest automaker said Friday it remains optimistic about Southeast Asia's auto market despite political turmoil in Thailand, one of the region's key car manufacturers. Takao Katagiri, executive vice-president at Nissan Motor Co., said the unrest in the Thai capital Bangkok is temporary and won't affect long term plans in Thailand and the rest of Southeast Asia.

Weak yen, sales recovery in China drive up Nissan quarterly profits

TOKYO - Nissan says quarterly profit rose 57 per cent, driven by a weaker yen and strong sales in China and Japan. The Japanese automaker reported net profit Tuesday of 84.3 billion yen ($823 million) for the October-December third quarter. That was up from 53.8 billion yen a year earlier. It was a sharp improvement from the previous quarter, when profits rose 2 per cent. Sales rose 25 per cent to 2.5 trillion yen. Sales bounced back sharply in China, rising 23 per cent to 294,000 vehicles.

Ford revs up in China, roars past Toyota and Honda

By Norihiko Shirouzu BEIJING (Reuters) - Ford Motor Co. <F.N> and its local partners boosted sales in China by nearly 50 percent last year, nudging past Japanese giants Toyota Motor Corp. <7203.T> and Honda Motor Co.<7267.T> to make big inroads into the world's largest auto market. For much of the past decade, Ford has trailed Japan's big car makers, but a line-up of new and revamped vehicles, including the top-selling Focus, and a China-Japan territorial spat helped the U.S. company in 2013.

Japan automakers accelerate China sales despite tensions

Two of Japan's top automakers Monday reported record sales in China last year, after an anti-Japanese consumer boycott depressed demand in the world's largest vehicle market in 2012. Toyota said it sold 917,500 vehicles in China last year, its best ever. The figure was up 9.2 percent from 2012, when a dispute over islands in the East China Sea flared anew and sent relations between Tokyo and Beijing plummeting.

Renault signs $1.3 bn joint venture deal with China's Dongfeng

French carmaker Renault signed a $1.3 billion joint venture agreement with China's Dongfeng Monday, finally ending a decade without a manufacturing presence in the world's biggest car market. Renault CEO Carlos Ghosn described the project as a "strategic alliance". "China has the biggest growth potential in the world," he said, adding: "Dongfeng has paramount knowledge of the Chinese market." There were many opportunities in China, especially in developing electric vehicles, he said.

Nissan looks to fledgling no-frills China brand to help drive revival but faces crowded market

HUADU, China - His Chinese sedan was a disappointment. So when truck driver Xie Yanzhen needed to replace it, he turned to Venucia, a 2-year-old no-frills brand launched by Nissan and a Chinese partner. The Chinese-brand Chang'an "doesn't work well," said Xie, who was back at a Venucia dealership in this southern city with a friend. At about 80,000 yuan ($13,000), his Venucia D50 compact sedan cost a little more, but "the engine is pretty good." That is encouraging news for Nissan Motor Co., which wants Venucia and Chinese buyers like Xie to help drive its global turnaround.
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