For the past year, rumors have been flying around about a new, unified Nissan in the Philippines, as the Nissan brand has had two entities in the country: Nissan Motors Philippines, Inc. (for Nissan passenger cars in general) and Universal Motors Corporation (for Nissan commercial vehicles in general).

Well, here they are. As of March 2014, Nissan Philippines, Inc. (NPI) has formally assumed the duties as the national sales company for the Nissan brand. The new company is a joint venture between Nissan Motor Limited (51%), Nissan Motor Philippines, Inc. (24.5%) and Universal Motors Corporation (24.5%).

Nissan Philippines Inc. launch

Kenji Naito has been tasked to head up Nissan Philippines, Inc. as president; he brings with him his extensive experience as the former CEO of Nissan Korea, among other global and regional postings. Joining him will be the other executives such as SJ Huh as Marketing Director while Lee Junia (formerly of NMPI) as the General Manager of Sales.

Nissan Philippines, Inc. is headquartered in Bonifacio Global City and will unify the brand's sales, after-sales and marketing efforts and operations in the country. The move also means that Nissan Philippines, Inc. is officially part of the regional entity: Nissan Group of Asia and Oceania.

For customers who are concerned if the turnover would cause issues, NPI executives have assured us that it will be business as usual. Personally attending the launch are Nissan Vice-Chairman Toshiyuki Shiga and Nissan EVP for Global Sales Takao Katagiri, to signify the company's renewed commitment to the Philippine market.

Nissan Altima

To kick off the start of their operations as the new national sales company, NPI will be introducing two new vehicles namely the 2014 Sylphy (alternate name for the Sentra) and the 2014 Altima (alternate name for the Teana).

Kenji Naito

NPI will be operating under the Nissan Power 88 global business plan outlined by Chairman Carlos Ghosn in 2011. Under the plan, Nissan aims to achieve an 8% global market share and increase operating margin to 8% by the end of the 2016 fiscal year.

Under the ASEAN plan, which was developed by Naito as vice president for corporate planning however, the Japanese carmaker is looking to triple sales in the region to 500,000 and achieve a 15% market share. Now as NPI president, Naito has set his sights on improving Philippine market share from the current 4% to a much brighter double-digit percentage by 2016.