Infiniti to build a compact car based on a small-car platform from Mercedes-Benz

Article by Christian Andrei, on September 15, 2011

Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn said that Infiniti is planning to develop a compact car that will be based on a small-car platform from Mercedes-Benz. Ghosn told reporters at the Frankfurt Motor Show that this new model is the product of the expanded cooperation between Daimler and the Renault-Nissan alliance.

There are rumors that this car will be produced in Europe where it will rival the Audi A3 and BMW 1 series. However, Nissan has yet to address these rumors.

In an Bloomberg interview, Nissan executive vice president Andy Palmer said that there’s no rule that production of Infiniti cars is only done in Japan.

Palmer didn’t elaborate on what other locations will build this car however. He did say that Infiniti requires a compact car in Europe to rival entry-level models from Audi and BMW.

He added that in 2014, Infiniti will launch gasoline and diesel engines that are based largely on the Etherea Concept that was unveiled at the Geneva auto show in March.

This is also on display at the 2011 Frankfurt Auto Show. Palmer said that this compact is likely to make up about 40% of Infiniti's sales in Europe.

Reuters had a previous report that talked about Nissan’s plans to begin producing the car in Europe within the next two years, the first Asian luxury brand to have its production in the region. Ghosn said the stronger yen has prompted the transfer of the production of the next generation Infiniti models to somewhere outside Japan.

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