Mike Stevens | Feb 16, 2012

Hot on the heels of announcing the company's V8 Supercar racing plans, Nissan Australia boss Dan Thompson has confirmed he will move to a new role in Europe.

From April 1, the Japanese carmaker's local arm will be run by new CEO and Managing Director, William Peffer.

While Thompson will become Vice President of Finance at Nissan Europe's Swiss headquarters, Peffer comes to Australia from his former role as Director of Marketing Communications and Media at Nissan North America.

Thompson's time at the head of Nissan Australia saw the company negotiate its 2013 entry in the V8 Supercar series, local production of components for the LEAF electric vehicle, and a locked-in plan for the Australian debut of the Infiniti luxury brand.

Peffer has been with Nissan since 2006, managing aspects of the company's sales and marketing before ascending to the division's top seat.

Before Nissan, Peffer worked for 13 years with Ford's North American operations in a similar role.

In Australia, Peffer will spearhead Nissan's goal of becoming the country's number-one full-range importer by early 2013.

To make it happen, he'll need to push Nissan to a 10 percent market share - up from 6.7 in 2011 - and usurp Mazda's place as the top importer.

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