Infiniti president tones down sales expectations for 2017, EV put on hold

Article by Anita Panait, on June 4, 2013

Toning down sales expectations, Infiniti president Johan de Nysschen has outlined new priorities for the carmaker – new vehicle models that could deliver quick volume for Nissan’s luxury unit. Nissan chief executive Carlos Ghosn has tasked de Nysschen with a seeming improbable task of nearly tripling Infiniti’s sales from 170,000 vehicles in 2012 to around 500,000 units in the fiscal year ending March 31, 2013.

In an interview with Automotive News, de Nysschen tempered down expectations to achieve the 2017 target. "I'm under absolutely no illusion,” he told Automotive News, adding that achieving the target is an “inordinately ambitious challenge."

To accomplish this task, Infiniti’s president plans to focus on volume models. According to him, he plans to tone down Infinit’s halo models above the existing lineup from dramatic sports-car concepts unveiled at recent auto shows into more practical vehicles. He also plans to have Infiniti’s electric vehicle to wait for a while before it sees production.

As for the 2017 target, de Nysschen said they have to “get [their] heads around how [they] can bring the brand in that direction." To achieve the target, de Nysschen is pouring investments into starting Infiniti production in China and the United Kingdom. He is also driving the rollout of volume nameplates like an entry-level compact to debut in 2015.

De Nysschen also is making investment into at least two halo nameplates above the current flagship M sedan, which will be renamed the Q70. Infiniti’s president disclosed that those vehicles will be launched by 2020 and be based on the same platform. The cars will be "high-performance luxury cars, not a sports car," he noted, adding that they will not be variants of a flagship sedan that will rival the Mercedes-Benz S-Class.

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