Ghosn pushes Nissan for more U.S. share
Ghosn: "Our goal is to have U.S. market share of no less than 10 percent.”
NEW YORK -- Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn acknowledges his company is doing better than ever -- but not quite good enough yet.
Ghosn told an industry audience here today that he expects “no less than 10 percent” of U.S. market share. But he declined to put a deadline on his mission.
“Nissan has a record 8.2 percent market share, thanks in part to a substantial improvement in our retail network,” the multitasking CEO said at the NADA/IHS Automotive Forum, an annual kickoff event for the New York auto show.
“But our goal is to have U.S. market share of no less than 10 percent.”
He predicted Nissan’s U.S. results this year at 1.2 million sales for Nissan and Infiniti -- which would be an increase of about 160,000vehicles from last year. He acknowledged that all automakers will be fighting over rising U.S. industry sales, but predicted Nissan’s market share will continue to outpace its competitors.
“In the United States, consumers are replacing aging cars,” he said. “Volume is likely to increase to 14 to 14.5 million units this year. Nissan should increase sales by at least 14 percent to 1.2 million units in the U.S.A.”
Ghosn and his North American executives have encountered many obstacles in efforts to increase Nissan’s U.S. market share. In the past few years, the company has tackled underselling mainstream products, a fuzzy brand image and the Nissan dealer network’s industry-lagging grades on consumer satisfaction surveys.
Ghosn alluded to steep gains in recent months in Nissan’s consumer satisfaction scores by J.D. Power and Associates.
“Nissan’s jump in the 2012 Customer Satisfaction Index from J.D. Power was the largest in history for any mass-market automaker,” he told the audience. “We want the best dealer relationships and the best dealers in the United States,” he said.
Ghosn also promised an auto show unveiling Wednesday of a redesigned mid-sized Altima he said would have “surprising” fuel economy figures.
“The 2013 Altima will deliver a new level of sophistication in design and engineering to the mid-size segment,” he said. “We’ll reveal some surprising features and fuel economy figures tomorrow, when I uncover the Altima.”
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