• Kyodo

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Nissan Motor Co. will seek to rack up annual sales of more than 7 million vehicles with a market share of 8 percent globally, President-designate Hiroto Saikawa said Tuesday.

“We will try to expand our market share while maintaining profitability,” he said in a media interview in Geneva, where an international auto show got underway earlier in the day. Nissan sold about 5.6 million vehicles last year.

Nissan said in late February that Saikawa, a veteran at Nissan and Carlos Ghosn’s co-chief executive officer, will become sole CEO of the company on April 1 as Ghosn steps down as CEO after 16 years at the helm.

Saikawa said Nissan is lagging behind Toyota Motor Corp. in terms of sales and other fields, adding it should do more to cultivate markets such as Japan, Southeast Asia and the Middle East.

He said Ghosn’s role will shift as he steps down as CEO but remains as chairman. The personnel change is seen as enabling Ghosn to focus on managing the wider group, including France’s Renault SA.

Saikawa, 63, who graduated from the University of Tokyo, joined Nissan in 1977. After assuming senior executive posts, he became co-CEO in November last year.

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