As part of its business plan to more than triple sales in the ASEAN region by late 2016, Nissan forms a new joint venture with its local Nissan Motor Philippines unit and Universal Motors.

The new national sales company, Nissan Philippines (NPI), will begin operations early next year and be based in Manila.

The unit will “be responsible for strengthening branding, marketing and sales strategy, and dealer operations in the Filipino market,” Nissan says. “NPI intends to reinforce brand and sales power by broadening the product lineup and strengthening sales and services across the nation.”

Nissan has named 28-year executive Kenji Naito president of NPI. Naito most recently was CEO of Nissan Korea and from 2005-2008 oversaw corporate planning as a vice president at Nissan Motor Thailand.

Nissan holds a 51% stake in NPI, capitalized at ¥1 billion ($9.8 million). Universal and Nissan Motor Philippines, which will continue to be production sources for Nissan models in the country, each hold 24.5% stakes in the new JV.

The Japanese automaker wants to grow annual sales to 500,000 units and achieve 15% market share in ASEAN by the end of 2016, and cites growing its presence in the Philippines as key to that goal.

“With NPI now as the unified voice of Nissan in the Philippines, we will be bolder and more proactive in expanding our business in this market,” Takayuki Kimura, regional vice president at parent Nissan, says in a statement.

cschweinsberg@wardsauto.com