Exclusive: Infiniti plans to steal sales from German luxury brands


Exclusive: Infiniti plans to steal sales from German luxury brands

Infiniti is keen to avoid any mistakes in its quest to steal sales from Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz – commenting, "If we're going to take a share of luxury car segment, we've got to do it properly."

The brand, owned by Japanese company Nissan, has three goals to reach by 2020 - to launch three new models, increase the brand's worldwide perception and reach the milestone of 500,000 Infiniti models sold.

But speaking to AOL Cars, Nissan's executive vice president Andy Palmer said Infiniti will not reach those goals by using the strategy it has used in the past.

"We once sold a car called the Infiniti G20 which was basically a rebadged Nissan Primera. In hindsight, that was not a good idea.

"Our cars need to be as good dynamically as BMW's models, but they should differ in style. We need to be more evocative with the way our cars look."

Topping the list of new products is the firm's first premium hatchback. Announced in December last year, Infiniti's new A3-rival will be built at Sunderland and will be positioned uniquely.

"We really see a good place for a car spanning the space between the Audi A3 and the Audi Q3 crossover," said Palmer.

Two more products, the new Q50 and the USA-only QX60 hybrid, will help "draw a line" under the old Infiniti brand.

Palmer points to Audi as a direction Nissan is taking with Infiniti. "Unlike other German luxury car brands, Audi has very successfully moved into it and moved away from being just another Volkswagen-owned brand. Infiniti will always be separate from Nissan – a point we have clearly made by moving Infiniti's headquarters to Hong Kong," explained Palmer.

Infiniti is also planning to add larger cars, such as SUVs and 4x4s, to its model line-up, rather than follow Audi with its A1. "We could go smaller than the new hatchback," he told us, "but I think we should be focusing on the large luxury market" says Palmer.

"It won't be in the BMW 7-Series sector because that segment is diminishing, but we need to go larger to build the brand."