Nissan hired a former Chrysler executive to be the vice president of US sales and marketing.

Fred Diaz, 47, the former president and CEO of Chrysler’s Ram brand, will be from May 1st Nissan’s vice president of U.S. sales and marketing. Fred Diaz, who spent 24 years at Chrysler, will replace Al Castignetti, who has been vice president for Nissan’s US sales since 2008 and who resigned to “pursue interests outside the company,” according to Nissan’s spokesman Brian Brockman.

During the first quarter, Nissan’s sales dropped 1.3% in the US, even if industrywide light-vehicle deliveries increased 6.4%. The best-selling model in the US in March was the Altima sedan, which took the 3rd place for the quarter after Toyota’s Camry and Honda’s new Accord sedan.

“Nissan is losing market share right now and that’s a situation Carlos Ghosn must find intolerable,” said Rebecca Lindland, an analyst with Rebel Three Media & Consultants, based in Cos Cob, Connecticut. “This market is cutthroat, and manufacturers can’t afford to lose momentum, to lose time.”

Nissan’s CEO Carlos Ghosn is confident that the new Altima will manage to reach “the kind of return that we’re expecting from this car,” and the new US team will manage to bring sales back on the track in the region.


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