YOKOHAMA, Japan -- Nissan Motor Co. CEO Carlos Ghosn does not believe in easy goals.
Ghosn wants 10 percent market share in the United States "as soon as possible." And he won't take "earthquake" as an excuse.
He expects Nissan and Infiniti brands together to achieve an 8 percent increase in U.S. sales in the fiscal year that began April 1, to 1.04 million vehicles, despite Japan's March 11 earthquake.
The automaker's U.S. market share hit a record 7.8 percent in 2010, only the third year it has topped 7 percent.
Ghosn didn't set a target date for getting to 10 percent, but he implied he wants to see it happen within three years.
Ghosn issued the ambitious goal to Colin Dodge, who replaced Carlos Tavares this month as Nissan's chairman of the Americas.
"It's very simple: as soon as possible, 10 percent market share in the United States," Ghosn said after he released Nissan's fiscal-year financial forecasts.
Ghosn said Nissan wouldn't hit 10 percent in 2011 because the company started the year with many factories shut down by the earthquake.
But he said he hoped to reach the target in the first phase of the six-year business plan that Nissan will unveil today, June 27. "I think we have the product to do it," Ghosn said, calling the goal a "reachable and obvious first milestone in our expansion."
Ghosn said Nissan production has nearly returned to pre-earthquake volume levels.
He now predicts global sales and output will end the year higher than last year despite shutting plants for weeks after the earthquake paralyzed Japan's supply chain.
"We are practically at the normal level of production, even though it's a restricted level of production," Ghosn said. "But in terms of volume, we are approaching normal production."
Achieving unrestricted output of any vehicle in any variant is on track for October, he said.
Nissan's new six-year outlook being unveiled today replaces the previous plan, which the company scrapped in 2009 after the global financial crisis erupted.