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Japanese Automaker Giant Unveils Plan to Raise Sales - 2002-05-11

Japan's third-largest automaker, Nissan, has unveiled a new three-year business plan to boost global sales. Nissan's new growth strategy is focused on increasing efficiency and building on its alliance with Renault of France. Nissan, a once ailing Japanese carmaker, which has successfully pulled off a complex restructuring plan, has unveiled a new agenda: it wants to capture more of the global car market.

The company, which has rebounded from seven-years of losses, said it is now aiming to sell one million additional vehicles within two years. That would bring total sales to $3.6 million.

Nissan will introduce about 30 new models to meet that goal. Its target markets include the United States, Europe, Japan and other parts of Asia.

President and Chief Executive Officer Carlos Ghosn addressed reporters in Tokyo. "The plan is designed to take Nissan to a higher level of performance. The plan opens a new perspective for our company, a perspective of lasting profitability," Mr. Ghosn said.

He also said the company expects to post a record profit of $3 billion for the past fiscal year as a result of its restructuring program, which included 21,000 layoffs and the closure of five factories. The staff cuts were controversial in Japan, where traditionally companies have rarely fired large groups of workers.

Nissan also said that it will strengthen ties with Renault of France, which owns 44 percent of the Japanese carmaker. The two companies jointly developed several new Nissan models that will soon be launched globally.