Nissan Motor Thailand hopes to sell over 100,000 vehicles in Thailand during the 2012 fiscal year, equivalent to a 10% market share, new company president Takayuki Kimura said.

Kimura told The Nation at Nissan's annual press conference that it wants 15% market share by 2016. The automaker has operated in Thailand since 1953, when the unit of Siam Motors it became Nissan's first overseas distributor, opening an assembly plant a decade later.

"For the 2011 fiscal year, Nissan sold 76,524 vehicles in Thailand, up 18% compared to the same period last year. Our market share also grew to 9.2% which was in line with our business plans called 'NMT Power Up 2016' that we announced last year," Kimura said.

"Moreover, we closed the fiscal year with sales of 12,698 vehicles, the highest monthly sales since Nissan entered Thailand 59 years ago," he said.

Kimura attributed Nissan's success to the introduction of its two eco-cars , the March [Micra] and Almera. Thailand now supplies the March to Japan where the model once was produced.

"We were the first company to offer an eco-car and we are still the only company that offers two types of eco-cars," Kimura said.

Nissan plans to open 20 additional showrooms this year, Kimura said.

"Our final strategy is to stun the Thai auto market in the second quarter of this fiscal year with a new midsized compact sedan as well as two more new models towards the end of the year, including another body type for the compact passenger car model," he added.

The Nation noted that, as well as heading the Thai unit, Kimura has been appointed president of Nissan Motor Asia-Pacific and assistant director for Asia Oceania (excluding China).

He has over 20 years experience in the automotive industry and was previously president of PT Nissan Motor Indonesia.