PT Nissan Motor Indonesia launches the Grand Livina multipurpose vehicle, one of Nissan Motor Co. Ltd.'s new global models aimed at raising the auto maker's sales in the Asia/Pacific region by more than 70% to 106,000 vehicles this year.

A sales target of 1,500 units per month has been set for the all-new Grand Livina, developed at the Nissan Technical Center in Atsugi, Japan, and built at NMI's plant in Jakarta.

Indonesia is the second country after China to get the Grand Livina. MPVs dominate Indonesia's vehicle market, accounting for 50% of total industry demand.

"For 2007, we expect sales of this model to reach 12,000 units, out of our total domestic sales of 21,000 units,” Nissan Chief Operating Officer Toshiyuki Shiga says at the vehicle's launch.

The Grand Livina is offered with either a 1.5L or 1.8L engine with manual or automatic transmission. It is priced at 138.5 million-203.5 million rupiahs ($15,230-$22,380)

Nissan eventually plans to export the MPV to other Association of Southeast Asian Nations countries, such as Malaysia and Thailand.

The Indonesian market saw vehicle sales dive 40.3% in 2006 to 318,304 units, dragged down by higher lending rates, but the industry is expected to rebound this year to 400,000.

Thierry Viadieu, president of Siam Nisssan Automobile Co. Ltd, which oversees Nissan operations in Southeast Asia, tells reporters the auto maker is hoping new models will raise sales in Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines from last year’s combined 61,894 units.

In addition to boosting Indonesian sales to more than 20,000 units this year from 4,000 in 2006, Nissan is targeting an increase in Thai deliveries to 55,000 from prior-year's 30,000.