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Nissan banks on 15 new models

NISSAN Motor Co aims to launch 15 new models in China, more than in any other market, by 2012 as the prospects for growth in the world's second-largest auto market remain bright.

They include 10 passenger cars and five light commercial vehicles, Senior Vice President Andy Palmer said yesterday at the auto show.

But Palmer said amid the global economic slowdown Nissan also has to rein in expenditure in China, which accounts for about 14 percent of its global sales volume.

He said some investments may be a little bit delayed, without elaborating.

"They are all minor adjustments and overall nothing has changed," Palmer said.

Nissan's sales in China rose 9 percent to 144,603 units in the first quarter from a year earlier on government efforts to revive demand.

The car maker has forecast China sales of 570,000 units this year, up 4.6 percent from 2008 when sales rose 19 percent.

Palmer said the full-year goal is conservative because the firm expected the effect of China's stimulus measures to wane later this year.

Nissan sold about 4,000 of its premium Infiniti models in China last year.


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