Thursday, January 17, 2013

Infiniti to Launch Four New Models, Revamp its U.S. Line-Up in the Next Four Years

Leaving aside the Corvette Stingray, Infiniti’s 2014 Q50 sports sedan was probably one of the more anticipated cars that debuted at the 2013 North American International Auto Show.

According to Infiniti President Johan de Nysschen, the premium sedan is the “first salvo” in Nissan’s luxury division expansion strategy that includes the launch of at least four more models and revising all of its North American nameplates over the next four years.

“Our vision is simple: to secure permanent membership in the exclusive premium automobile club, a club that is today dominated by German brands”, de Nysschen told the Automotive News World Congress.

He admitted that Infiniti's products currently cover less than 60 percent of the global premium market and any brand that wants to become a truly global player in this segment must have an extensive range of models and powertrains, including forced-induction four- and six-cylinder gasoline engines and clean diesels.

“We have plenty of opportunity for expansion”, said de Nysschen. “I will not rest until Infiniti is universally entrenched as a global tier one automaker.”

Despite being in business since November 1989, Infiniti has until recently been confided mostly to North America. It’s worldwide push was indicated when, last year, parent company Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn announced that he was moving the company’s headquarters from a Nissan building in Yokohama, Japan to Hong Kong as Infiniti Global Limited.

The choice of the new HQ was significant, as until now, Infiniti has largely missed out on the lucrative Chinese market that has quite an appetite for premium models.

De Nysschen, who was working for Audi of America before appointed Infiniti’s President, also commented on the Daimler tie-up. He revealed that the Nissan plant in Decherd, Tennessee will produce four-cylinder turbocharged engines for both Infiniti and Daimler models and Jatco, a transmission company that’s 75 percent owned by Nissan, will make transmissions for both companies at its Mexico plant.

He added that Infiniti will use Daimler, i.e. Mercedes-Benz, diesel engines as well as the latter’s architecture for its new premium compact model that will be based on the 2011 Etherea concept. 

By Andrew Tsaousis
Story References: Autonews
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