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Ghosn takes charge of US operations ahead of appointment of new Nissan CEO; Infiniti franchise could come to Europe

Carlos Ghosn will oversee Nissan's vital US sales operationfrom the start of next month, taking over from global sales director executive vice president Norio Matsumura, who will head Nissan's domestic Japanese operations.

Nissan derives about three-quarters of its global operating profit from North America, and has set a goal of Nissan North America contributing over a third of a one-million-unit sales increase in the next financial year. Ghosn is due to replace Louis Schweitzer as president of Renault next year. He in turn is due to announce his own replacement as Nissan CEO in late April; three names have been quoted as likely candidates – Executive Board member Toshiyuki Shiga, Dongfeng-Nissan JV boss Katsumi Nakamura, and Norio Matsumura, until now global sales director.

Media reports suggest that Carlos Ghosn may also announce that Nissan's Infiniti luxury car division, formed to compete with Toyota's Lexus in the US market, may be launched in other markets, including Europe. Nissan has so far made little headway selling larger saloon cars in Europe, such as the Maxima, under the Nissan brand.

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