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Nissan's Chinese SUV foray

Nissan Motor Co Ltd is to make a substantial foray into China's growing market for sport utility vehicles (SUVs) through a joint venture in central Henan province.

The new venture, which will be for 10,000 units in its first year, will be through a partnership with Nissan's 30 per cent-owned Zhengzhou Nissan Automobile Co.

Production on the Paladin SUV, available in 2.4-litre and 3.3-litre models, started on Tuesday.

Zhengzhou Nissan makes the Nissan-branded Pickup and has an annual production capacity of 60,000 units.

Nissan also has a 50-50 venture with Dongfeng Motor Corp, one of China's largest auto groups. That venture aims to roll out 550,000 vehicles by 2006.

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