Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. (NML) of Japan on Friday announced the consolidation of the two official distributors and assemblers of the brand’s vehicles in the country to create Nissan Philippines Inc. (NPI).
With this, NPI will be the national sales company and the local arm of the Japanese carmaker in the Philippines. Before the consolidation, Nissan Motor Philippines Inc. (NMPI) and Universal Motors Corp. (UMC) represented the Japanese brand in the country.
During the formal introduction of the new company held at the Blue Leaf Filipinas in Paranaque City, it was also announced that Kenji Naito will head NPI as president and managing director. Natio was previously chief executive officer of Nissan Korea Co. Ltd.
Naito has worked for Nissan over the past 29 years and has held key positions in various key markets including Japan, South Africa, New Zealand and Thailand.
He said NPI is eyeing a double-digit share in the country’s automotive market. He did not give specific figures.
Based on data from the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers in the Philippines Inc. (CAMPI) for 2013, NMPI had a 1.05-percent share in the local car market, putting it in 10th place, while UMC cornered a 3.3-percent market share for the 7th place. Toyota, Honda, Ford and Mitsubishi are the top vehicle firms in the country today.
According to Naito, NPI will be focusing on a strategy to enhance Nissan’s branding, marketing and sales in the Philippines, and will maximize the existing facilities of NMPI and UMC.
NPI also unveiled on Friday the new Nissan Sylphy and Nissan Altima, signifying the company’s intention to resurrect the brand in the Philippine market.
Sylphy is an alternate name for Sentra while the Altima was first introduced in the country in the 1990s to replace the Bluebird. According to NPI General Manager for Sales Lee Junia, the introduction of the Sylphy and Altima is just the start, and more Nissan products will arrive in the Philippine market soon.
Present at the launch of the two new Nissan vehicles were NML Vice Chairman Toshiyuki Shiga, and Executive Vice President Takao Katagiri.