Ghosn: Nissan's market share loss was a 'hiccup'
Carlos Ghosn: "Just a setback of one year, and then you recover the year after -- this going to be the case, I’m sure..."
Photo credit: Blooomberg
DETROIT -- Nissan North America’s dip in market share last year was bad news for CEO Carlos Ghosn -- but no cause to rethink his ambitious growth goal.
Ghosn assured reporters Monday at the Detroit auto show that Nissan still is determined to obtain 10 percent of the U.S. market by the end of his “Power 88” business plan in fiscal 2016.
Combined Nissan and Infiniti market share fell to 7.9 percent for 2012, down from 8.2 percent in 2011, despite an increase in sales at both brands. The company has not lost U.S. market share on an annual basis since 2006, when it declined from 6.3 to 6.2 percent.
“I don’t think you’ll have any CEO who’s going to tell you with calm and a smile that we lost market share in the United States even though we’ve been investing so much,” Ghosn said about the 2012 setback. “I don’t consider 2012 a great year for Nissan, even thought the volumes went up.
“We still consider 10 percent market share an important milestone.”
Nissan Division and Infiniti brand sold a record 1,141,655 new cars and trucks in 2012, an increase of 10 percent over 2011.
But Nissan’s competitors had larger increases, meaning Nissan North America lost share.
“I would worry if you have two years in a row,” Ghosn said. “Just a setback of one year, and then you recover the year after -- this going to be the case, I’m sure -- then it’s a hiccup.”
He said there were two reasons for the setback. Nissan was phasing out an older product line in 2012, including its volume-leading Altima, the Sentra and Pathfinder SUV. And, he added, Nissan’s Japanese competitors took longer to recover from the March 2011 earthquake in Japan, which resulted in larger volume gains for them in 2012.
“This being said, it doesn’t change our strategy,” Ghosn said. “It doesn’t change our willingness. It doesn’t change our goal to reach 10 percent by the end of Power 88.”
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