If the Chinese government is to offer "substantial" purchase incentives, it's probable that Nissan Motor Co. will produce Leaf all-electric cars locally in China, according to Chief Executive Carlos Ghosn.
Meanwhile, a senior Nissan executive described that this move stems from Nissan's expectations that Beijing will offer these incentives only for electric cars made in China.
Nissan reportedly seeks to ensure that the Leaf is eligible for purchase rebates and other incentives in China. It is expected that in 2011, Nissan will begin exporting the Leaf to China from Japan for fleet customers.
At the Auto China exhibition, Ghosn told reporters that the decision on whether to produce the Leaf in China would depend on a government decision on what policy will be implemented to support the private purchases of electric cars.
Mr. Ghosn expects that this summer, China's central government will announce a policy on how to promote electric-car sales. Ghosn explained that as long as the incentives are substantial enough then the assembly of batteries will have to be made in China since this is a huge market.
Ghosn clarified that what he considers to be an adequate subsidy is about $7,500 a car, approximately the same amount offered for electric-car buyers in the US, Japan and Europe.