Nissan’s new chief executive, Hiroto Saikawa, has bold plans for the company in post-Carlos Ghosn times.
Saikawa took office on April 1 and among his most immediate priorities are to expand the presence of Mitsubishi – Nissan’s global partner – in the United States while also re-focusing Nissan’s electric vehicle efforts.
During an interview with Automotive News, the new chief executive revealed his hope that Mitsubishi’s global sales can double and that it can make significant inroads in the U.S. and ultimately rival the sales of Subaru.
“They are now a 1 million [unit] company. Easily they can grow to 1.5 million, hopefully 2 million. Having a partner [that is] a 2 million company is much better than having [one that is] a 1 million company.
“My first wish is that they should start growing, rapidly, and they should regain ground in the U.S. as soon as possible,” he said.
Saikawa ruled out the possibility of Nissan selling Mitsubishi-badged vehicles in America but did reveal that as Renault isn’t a player in the U.S., there’s an opportunity for it to supply cars to Mitsubishi.
Alongside his plans for Mitsubishi, Saikawa also said that the Japanese marque is pushing forward with its electric vehicle plans and will reveal an overhauled Leaf next year. Before 2020 comes around, Nissan will unveil an all-new electric vehicle with a range of around 300 miles (482 km).