Edaran Tan Chong Motor Sdn Bhd (ETCM), the Malaysian assembler and distributor of Nissan models, said it plans to double sales volumes over the next three years with the introduction of three new Nissan models.

These will be assembled at its Serendah plant, which was completed in 2007 with an initial production capacity of 1,200 units per month on one shift. A second shift has since been added, bringing capacity to 2,400 units per month without overtime. The plant currently makes the Nissan Latio, Grand Livina and the Sylphy.

Speaking at the company's AGM executive director Datuk Dr Ang Bon Beng said that combined production of these three new models is expected to reach 24,000 units annually. He declined to elaborate on which are these models.

Mr Ang said ECTM sold 6,638 vehicles in the first quarter of 2009, up by 6.2% compared with 6,253 units a year earlier. He was confident that the company would meet its target of 6% sales growth this year even though "sales could slow in the second and third quarters". It is targeting a 6% market share this year compared with 5.2% last year.

ECTM plans to increase production from 700 to 1,200 units per month at its Serendah plant from June to "normalise" stock levels following better than expected sales volumes. Over the last six months its had reduced stocks significantly in anticipation lower demand. Production at its older Segambut plant will be increased to from 1,000 to 1,500 units per month.

Tony Pugliese