Nissan Motor plans to nore than triple sales to 500,000 units in the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) by the end of 2016 as it targets increased market share.

It aimed to boost its share to 15% under a six-year plan from just 6% in 2010, when it sold 150,000 units, the company's Asia Pacific unit said in a statement cited by Reuters.

"One of the key strategies to realise this growth is the introduction of more than 10 new models during the period, as well as deep collaboration with governmental bodies to gain competitive advantages," Nissan said.

The plan covers major emerging markets like Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam.

The move is part of the wider "Nissan Power 88" plan, outlined by chief executive Carlos Ghosn late in June 2011, with a target of boosting both its global market share and profit margin to 8% within six years.

Car demand in emerging markets is soon expected to capture more than half of global sales volumes, it said.

"ASEAN countries - including Thailand and Indonesia - are among those we have marked as our strategic growth drivers," Toru Hasegawa, a regional vice president and head of Nissan Motor Thailand, told the news agency.

Nissan aims to do more research and development work in ASEAN and to double its regional production capacity to 700,000 units per year from 350,000.

In Indonesia, the company will get involved with a low-cost, green car programme initiated by the government.

It also plans to spend JPY25bn (US$319m) to increase capacity there to 180,000 units by 2013 and will build a new engine assembly plant.

Staffing levels are expected to rise to about 2,500 from 900 now. Indonesian sales are projected at 60,000 units with a market share of over 7% in 2011, reaching 90,000 units by 2013.

In Thailand, JATCO, a Nissan affiliate, would invest JPY20bn ($255m) in a new plant to produce continuously variable transmission (CVT) units in Thailand. It will be the first company to produce such transmissions in Thailand.

Nissan Motor aims to more than double market share in Thailand by the end of 2016 from 7.4% in 2010, with more than 10 model launches, it said.

It also plans to launch the first eco-car sedan in Thailand to meet rising demand in the eco-car segment after its launch of the March (Micra) in 2010.

Thai-built March models are now sold in Japan and exported widely through Asia.

Production of the sedan is due to start in September.