Nissan Says It's on the Offensive

Company wants global share market to hit 8% by 2016

Nissan on June 27 said it aims to achieve a global market share of 8% by the end of fiscal 2016 as it unveiled a six-year business plan.

Nissan, which is 44.3% owned by Renault, also said it aims to lift its operating profit margin to 8% in that period under its "Nissan Power 88" growth plan.

"We are definitely on the offensive," CEO Carlos Ghosn said.

Japan's second-biggest automaker by volume, after Toyota, had a 5.8% global market share last year.

The plan will see the Nissan-Renault alliance aim for cumulative electric-vehicle sales of 1.5 million units in that time. Nissan last year began selling its all-electric Leaf car in Japan, the United States and parts of Europe.

It said it would also aim for a 10% share of the Chinese market while boosting its presence in economies such as India and Brazil, where it will build a new factory producing 200,000 vehicles per year.

Nissan currently has a 6.2% market share in China.

"In 2012, we will have nearly doubled our production capacity to 1.2 million units," in China, Ghosn said.

"We will further increase our capacity to be in line with our goal of 10% market share," he said.

In Russia, Nissan and its partner Renault are in talks to take a combined more than 50% stake in major Russian automaker AvtoVAZ, which sells the Lada brand.

Yokohama-based Nissan will continue to focus on zero-emission vehicles and low-emission technologies while also aiming for a 10% share of the global luxury market with its Infiniti brand.

Nissan aims to expand its sale network to 7,500 major points of sale globally, from the current 6,000.

The automaker last week said annual net profit this fiscal year will fall 15% year-on-year after Japan's March 11 earthquake hit output, while it also struggles with high raw material costs and a strong yen.

But despite lower profits, it expects global sales to rise 9.9% in the year to a record 4.6 million units, with full production returning in October after parts shortages caused by the quake.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2011

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