Nissan Motor Co. intends to increase Infiniti's share of the Chinese luxury vehicle market by up to four times within five years while it hurries to make up for a "ridiculous" amount of time that it lost to the Audi of Volkswagen AG as well as the Lexus of Toyota Motor Corp.
Carlos Ghosn, Nissan’s CEO, has set a target of obtaining at least 8 percent of the luxury vehicle market in China by 2016. Currently, Infiniti has 2 percent. Based on the data from industry researcher J.D. Power & Associates, Lexus has 8 percent while Audi, the market leader, has 34 percent.
Among the strategies to boost its sales include airing its first TV commercials in a country where primetime audiences can exceed 500 million, increasing the number of Infiniti dealers to 100 percent this year and adding five product lines over five years.
Nissan is also studying production in China in order to curb tariffs of 25 percent on imported vehicles, says Autonews. According to Allen Lu, managing director of Infiniti's China unit, the luxury brand entered the market in China even later than in South Korea and Taiwan.
He further stated that it is “very ridiculous to anybody who has a bit of knowledge about the industry." Moreover, he said that “it's like running a marathon -- you can't tell who will win after just 10 kilometers."
Lu worked for Ferrari S.p.A. prior to becoming the managing director of Infiniti's China unit last year. Nissan also aims to increase more than three times its Infiniti sales worldwide to 500,000 annually by March 2017 to take around 10 percent of the international luxury vehicle market.
China became Infiniti's second largest market last year after the United States, Lu disclosed. The brand is not sold in Japan. Last July 26 in Beijing, where the company revealed its mid-term business plan in China, Ghosn stated that they have a good momentum in China and that this should continue.