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Nissan's next challenge: grow beyond US, China

Mitsubishi Motors key partner in tapping emerging markets

TOKYO -- Although Nissan Motor is in much better shape than when Carlos Ghosn took over 18 years ago, even the celebrated revival architect could not accomplish everything. The imminent challenge for his successor is to reduce heavy reliance on the U.S. and China by steering the automaker toward emerging markets.

Nissan's management plan ending this fiscal year was highly ambitious, aiming to raise both market share and the automaker's operating profit margin to 8%. But reality has not kept up with these goals: In the nine months ended in December, global market share was just 5.9%. Though Ghosn gained a reputation early on for touting bold commitments and inspiring his employees to meet them, that strategy seems to be at a turning point.

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