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China chosen for Teana debut

Nissan's Teana V6 sedan will make its world debut at the Beijing Motor Show.

Culturally and historically, China and Japan have seldom agreed about anything, but consumer goods may have resolved that impasse.

Japan, one of the world's biggest suppliers of consumer goods to the world, has what the Chinese want and are now prepared to pay for.

It's the same with cars, which is why Nissan Japan decided the global debut of its front-wheel-drive Teana V6 sedan would be in China, at the Beijing Motor Show.

Nissan vice-president Carlos Tavares, who is also in charge of product development, design and corporate strategy, says more than half of the old Teanas went to China.

"So it makes perfect sense to launch the new car here," he says.

The Teana will replace the Maxima when it arrives in Nissan showrooms late this year. The current Maxima is built in Japan, but Tavares says Nissan may import the new car to Australia from Thailand "if the financial aspect adds up."

Thailand has a free-trade agreement with Australia that affords cost savings for Nissan and buyers.

The new Maxima follows what Nissan calls an "evolutionary" approach to styling. Others call it dreary, perhaps because the Teana was rolled out after the funky Pivo2 electric car.

Based on Nissan's D-platform technology shared with the Murano, the Teana uses a fourth-generation version of the 3.5-litre V6 engine, which is mated to a six-speed, continuously variable transmission.

Nissan has paid attention to the car's noise, vibration and harshness levels and claims the Teana is one of the quietest cars in its class.

Also new is the multi-link rear suspension, speed sensing power steering and what Nissan calls "multi-layer bionic seats."

Nissan Australia's Karl Gehling says Australian specifications are still being finalised, and the car may have some minor trim changes before it goes on sale locally.

Nissan is also using the Beijing show to show off its Livina C-Gear crossover wagon.

The car, which is destined for left-hand-drive markets, has the interior space of a mid-size wagon.