Nissan and Infiniti shifting focus to commercial offerings

Article by Christian Andrei, on January 29, 2015

Many have noticed that Nissan and Infiniti have shifted their focus, for this year, from racy concepts to tried-and-proven volume offerings, as the carmakers try to hike their global market share. For instance, during the recently finished Detroit auto show, executives seemingly left out those concepts during discussions.

The shift could mean that Nissan and Infiniti appeal de-emphasizing the Nissan IDx and the electric Nissan BladeGlider concepts, as well as the Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge Concept. These concepts had strong support of two high-ranking executives who are now part of other carmakers -- Andy Palmer and Johan de Nysschen.

Last year, Palmer, who was then Nissan’s global product planning chief, remarked that the BladeGlider would be built for retail showrooms in the United States, adding that the concept was part of the Japanese carmaker’s business plan. He also disclosed in late 2013 that there are plans for a car based on the IDx rear-wheel-drive sports car concept that would be part of Nissan’s three-sports-car strategy, along with the 370Z and the high-end GT-R.

Palmer is now chief executive of Aston Martin Lagonda. In 2014, de Nysschen, who was then president of Infiniti, announced that the luxury carmaker will install a high-output V-6 engine in the Eau Rouge. He even talked about the vehicle’s possible production volumes and price range and said it would be Infiniti’s halo car.

De Nysschen is now head of Cadillac. However, Michael Bartsch, vice president of Infiniti North America, said that there has yet a final decision on whether the Eau Rouge would be build.

He said that Infiniti now is more focused on rebuilding its portfolio with strong core products. Infiniti unveiled its entry-class coupe, the twin-turbo Q60 concept, at the Detroit auto show. He that the coupe is "absolutely essential" to Infiniti, as it represents a segment in which its dealers have sold an average of 14,000 cars annually for the last 12 years.

Topics: nissan, infiniti

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