(Yicai Global) April 25 -- The Chinese joint venture between Japanese car giant Nissan and Dongfeng Motor will focus more on medium and small-sized cities for growth this year, according to the unit's head of product planning.
Dongfeng Nissan aims to offset flagging sales in China's first-tier cities by catering to the needs of drivers in smaller cities, Zhang Zhi, director of the product planning, said at this year's Auto Shanghai event.
State-backed Dongfeng and Nissan hold equal half-stakes in the JV. Its sales bucked the trend in the industry by growing 3.9 percent annually last year to over 1.1 million cars amid a nationwide fall of 2.8 percent.
For the first quarter of this year, vehicle sales at the JV rose 3.4 percent to 251,000, while national sales decreased 11.3 percent.
Zhang attributed the fall to a saturated market in first and second-tier cities which is a driver of the firm's focus on smaller cities.
Dongfeng-Nissan will seize every opportunity to compete for market share, Zhang said.
The company will not adopt an aggressive strategy or spend too much on expansion, he said, adding that it aims for marginal growth this year.
Editor: William Clegg