Infiniti planning Audi A3 rival based on Etherea Concept

Article by Christian Andrei, on July 5, 2011

Nissan will soon unveil a compact, entry-level Infiniti model slotted below the G series to go up against cars like the Audi A3 and Lexus CT 200h. This model is included in Infiniti’s global product influx that will boost its lineup from its current seven units to 10 vehicles by 2017.

A source said that this car will be based on the Etherea concept that was displayed last March at the Geneva auto show.

The slope-roofed compact will be joining Infiniti’s lineup, alongside the Infiniti JX crossover and an Infiniti-badged electric vehicle that’s based on the Nissan Leaf EV, which will be built on the Leaf's platform and will share its drivetrain too.

However, it will feature unique Infiniti styling, trim and features. Nissan aims to possess 8% of the world auto market within the next six years according to a new midterm business plan announced on June 27. When CEO Carlos Ghosn introduced the plan, he said that he wants Infiniti to get 10% of the global luxury market during this time frame.

Infiniti said that when it comes to volume, it seeks to raise global sales to 500,000 units by 2017. It currently sells about 150,000 units. In addition, this campaign entails producing Infiniti models overseas. The QX56 SUV had been the only Infiniti model assembled overseas at the Canton, Miss. Plant but its production was moved back to Japan in early 2010.

When referring to the production sites, Ghosn said that he “cannot imagine” shipping 500,000 Infiniti cars from just one site, stating that the natural location should be North America and/or China.

Ghosn said that Nissan is seeking to cover more segments. The 64 models in the Nissan and Infiniti lineup currently make up around 80% of global segments. However, this will rise to 66 models, making up about 92% by the fiscal year that ends March 31, 2017.

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