AM Online

Nissan's target: 1m extra sales

Nissan plans to wipe out its worldwide debt of nearly £3bn by 2005 and boost model sales by 1m under proposals laid out in its new '180' action plan. Carlos Ghosn, Nissan president and chief executive officer, is looking to boost revenue, reduce costs and improve quality under the three-year programme. It succeeds the Nissan Revival Plan (NRP) which fulfilled its commitments a year ahead of schedule.

“Through NRP we transformed a struggling company into a good company - through Nissan 180 we will transform a good company into a great company,” says Ghosn.

Nissan posted turnover up 1.8 per cent to £34bn, despite a 1.4 per cent drop in worldwide sales to 2.6m vehicles. Operating profits surged 68 per cent to £2.7bn while margins totalled 7.9 per cent of net sales, the highest in the company's history. Debt is on target to drop by £2.8bn, to £2.34bn, well below the NRP target of £3.8bn, due to the strong results and after the sale of non-core assets, including five plant closures.

Nissan 180 has four specific targets: higher revenue, lower costs, more quality and speed, and greater synergies from the alliance with Renault, which holds a 44.4 per cent stake. From 2005 Ghosn will run both companies when he becomes Renault chief executive, replacing Louis Schweitzer.

A Nissan model blitz involving 28 new vehicles in the next two years is intended to increase sales of cars and LCVs by 1m units, including 100,000 in Europe. It is targeting a global market share of 6.1 per cent and a 3.1 per cent share in Europe (up from 2.5 per cent) by 2005.

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