Nissan Motor Co., Ltd (TYO:7201) hires Fred Diaz to manage namesake brand – TM, HMC

Boston, MA 04/15/2013 (wallstreetpr) – Nissan Motor Co., Ltd (TYO:7201) (Closed: 1,052 JPY, Up by 0.86%)’ s sales in the United States have been dragging despite the rebound in the industry this year. The company has hired Fred Diaz, a former Chrysler Group LLC executive to manage its namesake brand in America. The 47-year-old Diaz was the former Chief Executive Officer and president of the Michigan-based Chrysler’s Mexican unit and Ram brand. According to a statement, he will be the vice-president of U.S sales and marketing for Nissan’s brand. A company spokesperson, Travis Parman said that Diaz had been with Chrysler for 24 years and that he will be joining the company from May 1. Al Castignetti had been the vice-president since 2008 and has just resigned as he wishes to look for other opportunities.

Contrasting landscape

There was a drop of 1.3 percent in the U.S Nissan sales (including the Infinity luxury brand), in the first-quarter though there had been an overall rise of 6.4 percent in light-vehicle deliveries across the industry. Last month, the Nissan Altima sedan had been America’s best-selling car but had fallen from second place to third from a year earlier. It is now positioned behind Toyota Motor Corporation (NYSE:TM) (Closed: $113.10, Down by 0.16%)’s Camry and Honda Motor Co Ltd (NYSE:HMC) (Closed: $39.84, Down by 0.33%)’s new accord. The competition in the market is very stiff right now and Nissan has been losing market share. This, at a point when it cannot afford to lose momentum.

Optimistic outlook

Last month, the Chief Executive Officer of Nissan as well as Renault, its alliance partner, said that the Altima that had been redesigned last year has very good potential in the U.S market and he is confident that the sales team there is competent enough to handle its positioning in the market to ensure its profitability. He also said that the results will not take too long to be visible. Nissan’s senior vice president for North America sales, Jose Munoz will be overseeing the Nissan brand operations until Diaz joins in May. Munoz had replaced Brian Carolin in December. Japan’s second-largest carmaker’s North American unit is based near Nashville in Franklin, Tennessee.

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