As the chief executive of both Renault and Nissan, Carlos Ghosn is one of the most powerful executives in the automotive industry. But at 60, he'll have to retire sooner than later: he's got three and a half years left on his contract at Renault, which mandates retirement by 65. But before his time is up, he intends to leave the Renault-Nissan Alliance among the top three automakers in the world.

Currently the combined sales of Nissan, Renault and its various brands (including Dacia, Datsun and Infiniti) make the alliance the fourth largest carmaker globally, trailing behind Toyota, Volkswagen and General Motors, but ahead of Hyundai, Ford, Fiat Chrysler and Honda. But Ghosn sees the alliance's sales (and global market share) increasing in the next three years. Speaking with Automotive News Europe, Ghosn projected confidently that the alliance will hit the number three spot by 2018 – just three years from now.

To get there, Ghosn knows that Nissan and Infiniti will need to increase their combined market share to 10 percent in the United States, growing around 2 to 3 percent each year between now and 2018. The challenge is that much more evident in North America where only half of the alliance participates. But it's not all about America. Ghosn also the Chinese market as equally vital to the alliance's success and that of its constituent automakers, projecting continued growth in China for the foreseeable future. He's also banked heavily on the Russian market, which may have dipped now, but in Ghosn's view is bound to recover.

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