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.

The new Infiniti Q70 reveals a refined elegance that offers a more dramatic design. This allows the Q70 to have a more luxurious appearance. The emotional and flowing lines of this premium sedan bring to the forefront that premium sleekness. One feature that will immediately catch one’s attention is the new headlights. By utilizing the LED headlights that Infiniti is well-known for, the Q70 creates an impression that is truly unforgettable by displaying human insight and inner intelligence.

These unique headlights help highlight the double arch grille. Looking at the grille itself, it now has a more three-dimensional appearance mainly due to the intricate detail of the chrome surround and the waved mesh finish.

This particular solid feel can be seen on the new bumper in the front. Being integrated with the fog lights, the bumper gives the new sedan a more dignified presence especially on the road.

There is a strong body line which begins on the front in the grille and similar to a wave, flows through the body side. This line then merges with the combination LED lights in the rear, resulting in a gripping profile that puts added focus on the athletic stance of the Q70. Meanwhile, the rear section shows that the tail lights have a new design.

The tail lights give the impression of horizontal flow when in motion and when combined with the trademarked high quality lighting, showcases a classy and fresh look. While the bumper in the rear has been reduced, the brand also flattened the trunk’s top line. This combination results in a lower and longer visual impact, helping the Q70 highlight even more its powerful and sporty style. The rear is finished with chrome to give the rear section that extra touch of class.

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