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Buoyed by Global Economic Growth and Demand, Record 2017 Sales seen by Nissan CEO

Buoyed by Global Economic Growth and Demand, Record 2017 Sales seen by Nissan CEO
Offsetting the impact of volatile currency and commodity markets and as a stronger global economic growth buoys demand for the industry, Japanese automaker Nissan Motor Co’s Chief Executive, Carlos Ghosn, said that the company will post record sales in 2017.
He was confident U.S. trade policy under President-elect Donald Trump would continue to promote strong ties with Mexico, where Nissan produces cars for export to the United States, said Ghosn, who is also CEO of alliance partner Renault.
If Trump makes good on promises to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) or slap tariffs on vehicles imported from Mexico, there have been worries about the risk of rising costs for Nissan and its rival automakers.
After posting record sales of 5.42 million cars and trucks worldwide in 2015, Nissan sold 4.52 million over January to October, according to its latest global sales figures.
"I think 2017 should be a good year. I think we will see reasonable economic growth, particularly in the car industry ... I think we will establish a record for sales in 2017," Ghosn told reporters on Friday.
Ghosn said that a growth trend in global economies that will keep demand for cars strong would offset the impacts of higher raw material prices and currency fluctuations which are expected to continue to present risks for the industry.
As the Trump administration's planned tax cuts and public spending fire up the U.S. economy, global growth is expected to t be to accelerate to 3.3 percent in 2017 from 2.9 percent this year by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
He was not very worried about the future of the NAFTA, Ghosn said. "What has been said by the president of the United States is 'America first' ... We have to believe that the program is about American interest, and American interest includes strong trade relations with Mexico," he said.
Ghosn said that regardless of industry moves to loosen regulations and including its Leaf - the world's top-selling all-battery powered car, the international trend to reduce vehicle emissions will drive Nissan's plans to develop more "green" cars.
A last-ditch effort to block the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from finalizing tough fuel economy standards through the 2025 model year is being made by a U.S. trade group representing some of the world's largest automakers.
Even as a relatively high price and limited charging infrastructure has curbed consumer demand,  To comply with tightening regulations in China, the world's top auto market, California and other regions, carmakers are scrambling to produce more lower-emission vehicles.
Ghosn, also the chairman of Mitsubishi said that Renault-Nissan will pool Mitsubishi plug-in gasoline hybrid technology and Nissan's battery-electric technology for use across models made by all three automakers after taking a controlling stake in the scandal-hit Mitsubishi Motors Corp earlier this year.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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