Nissan widens role of U.S. sales chief, one of 13 executive moves

DETROIT (Reuters) - Nissan Motor Co <7201.T> on Friday announced that Fred Diaz will be promoted to senior vice president for sales and marketing for the Nissan brand in the United States as part of a management shakeup that involves 13 executives taking new positions.

Diaz, 47, a former Chrysler Group LLC executive who joined Nissan last April, will take his new position on January 1. He is currently the divisional vice president for sales and marketing. Come January, his responsibilities will expand to include product planning and development of the Nissan brand's U.S. dealer network.

The executive moves are being made under Jose Munoz, who recently was named chairman of Nissan in North America, a position he will assume in January.

Nissan is the second-largest Japanese automaker and the third-largest Japanese automaker by sales volume in the U.S. market. Overall, it is the seventh-largest automaker by sales in the U.S. market. Its U.S. sales through October were up 9.1 percent from a year earlier as overall industry sales showed an 8.4 percent gain.

Among the other executive moves:

Bill Krueger, currently head of manufacturing for Nissan in North America, was appointed head of the Nissan subsidiary Japanese Automatic Transmission Co, or JATCO, in charge of the Americas region.

Krueger is being replaced by John Martin, currently head of manufacturing for Nissan in Europe.

Airton Cousseau, now regional vice president of Nissan in Mexico, was promoted to managing director of Nissan in Mexico, succeeding Jose Valls, who recently was promoted to chairman for the company in Latin America and Brazil.

Jon Brancheau, a Nissan marketing executive, was named to the newly created position of vice president for Nissan marketing communications and media.

(Company corrects responsibilities of promoted executive in pargraphs 1 and 2, showing he will be U.S. senior VP for Nissan brand, not Nissan Motor Co)

(Reporting by Bernie Woodall; Editing by John Wallace)

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