Nissan Motor Co. is doubling down on its push in China, naming one of its top executives to head operations in a market the carmaker expects to be its biggest growth driver over the next five years.
Chief Performance Officer Jose Munoz, promoted to his current role more than a year ago, will take on added responsibility as head of Nissan’s China operations, the Japanese automaker said.
Makoto Uchida, currently head of purchasing, will become president of Dongfeng Motor Co, Nissan’s China joint venture.
China is poised to become Nissan’s single biggest market within five years, contributing almost a third of its targeted revenue of 16.5 trillion yen ($155 billion) by 2022. The carmaker intends to spend 1 trillion yen in China over the period as it vies with global rivals including Volkswagen AG and General Motors Co. to become the largest electrified vehicle maker in the country, which is focussed on putting more of such models on the road to reduce emissions.
“The changes announced today put us in the best possible position to achieve the objectives we have set under our new midterm plan,” Nicholas Maxfield, a Nissan spokesman, said in an email.
Jun Seki, the current China chief, will become a senior vice president at Nissan’s alliance with Renault SA, overseeing production engineering. All management changes take effect April 1, Nissan said in a statement.
Nissan sold a record 1.52 million vehicles in China last year, compared with 1.59 million in the US.