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Nissan doubles down on emerging markets as U.S. sales slow

Reuters  |  YOKOHAMA 

YOKOHAMA (Reuters) - Motor Co Ltd said on Wednesday it expects vehicle sales in some markets to beat industry growth, driven by countries including - crucial for the Japanese firm that is struggling with slowing sales in the

Nissan, Japan's second-largest automaker, focused on the for the past few years, and roughly doubled there since 2010, as it aimed to corner a 10 percent share of the market.

But that ambition came at a cost: hefty discounting led to the company's North American operating profit falling by nearly a third in the year just ended.

is now looking to China, the world's biggest car market, and other regions such as the ones it clubs as Africa, and India, to boost growth while trying to improve profitability in

Moreover, the company is entering new markets including and and plans to expand its affordable brand, Peyman Kargar, of Nissan's operations in Africa, and India, told reporters at a briefing to discuss the company's mid-term strategy.

"Today we have 3.7 percent market share (in the region). The industry sees a 40 percent rise in total sales volumes, and we are going to be much above the market trend," said Kargar.

"We're talking about big growth in the region," he said, declining to give detailed regional sales targets.

He expects overall industry sales to climb to 12.1 million units in 2022 from 8.8 million in 2017.

Kargar, who joined last year from automaking partner where he led sales and marketing for the same region, added that he expected to double market share in to 14 percent in 2022, from 7 percent last year when roughly 800,000 vehicles were sold in the country.

Kargar said Nissan is also betting on more Nissan-branded sport utility vehicles (SUVs) and cheaper Datsun-branded cars to shore up sales in India, where it is struggling to expand and is far behind Ltd. It has focused on selling more SUVs in India, where SUV sales are fast climbing, fuelled by rising consumer spending power.

It also expects to raise its market share in South to "more than 15 percent" by 2022, from 10 percent in 2017, Kargar said, by selling fewer pick-up trucks and more passenger cars.

(Reporting by Naomi Tajitsu; Editing by and Christopher Cushing)

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, June 13 2018. 16:05 IST