Nissan Motor recently said its underlying goal – besides exceeding Japanese rival Honda – was to command 10 percent of the US market within the next two years.
According to Jose Munoz, executive vice president at Nissan and chairman of its North American operations, the target would be achieved without any major new investments as the company plans to utilize available production capacity at plants in Japan and South Korea, in a drive to lift exports and profits incurred from the favorable currency exchange rates. “The key word is flexibility,” said Munoz. “I can’t (give) you concrete numbers now but we have already started to work on how we can capitalize on the available capacity in Japan for North America.” Japan’s second largest automaker has seen its sales last year surging almost double times faster than the overall US auto market – thus opted to expand production capacity at its North American factories.
The carmaker still needs more production output to satisfy consumer demand and just this month it already announced plans to increase Rogue crossover exports to the US by taking advantage of alliance partner Renault’s joint venture assembly facility in South Korea. Munoz added Nissan has “never been as confident as we are today” on the business prospects in the United States, the brand’s largest market, buoyed by recent and upcoming model introductions such as the Murano sport-utility vehicle, Maxima sedan and Titan pickup truck. Nissan had a US market share last year of 8.4 percent, with the 10 percent target set for the business year to March 2017.