TOKYO -- Nissan Motor Co. is expecting a healthy sales increase this fiscal year despite an uncertain business climate.
Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn expects that 2005 will have "many more risks than opportunities."
Says Ghosn: "The risks include volatility in exchange rates, higher interest rates, higher commodity prices, higher energy prices, higher incentives and uncertainty about the level of growth in the U.S. and Japanese markets."
For the fiscal year that started April 1, Nissan plans to sell 1.05 million Nissan and Infiniti models in the United States, up 3.3 percent from the previous fiscal year.
In the year ending March 31, U.S. sales jumped 18.4 percent, driven by new models such as the Titan full-sized pickup.
Light trucks, including the Frontier, Pathfinder and Xterra, will lead higher sales in the coming fiscal year, the company says. The redesigned M series will boost Infiniti sales.
Looking ahead, Nissan plans to boost global sales to 4.2 million in the fiscal year ending March 31, 2009. The company was expecting to reach the goal in the year ending March 31, 2008, so Ghosn is being more cautious with his projections.
The company sold 3.4 million units in the last fiscal year.
Ghosn declined to break down global sales targets by region. But he expects sales in "general overseas markets" - excluding the United States, Europe and Japan - to post the biggest growth, followed by the United States.
In the last fiscal year Nissan posted a 7.9 percent gain in North American operating profit to ¥379.7 billion, or $3.59 billion. That represents 44 percent of overall operating profit. North America is Nissan's most profitable region.
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