Infiniti postpones plans for an all-electric model

Trevor Hofmann - CAP staff
Send to a friend

Send this article to a friend.

Auto sales might be strong in North America and some parts of Asia, but any automaker CEO worth his salt knows that we're in unstable economic times and therefore it's important to rein in spending. For this reason Infiniti President Johan de Nysschen is postponing the brand's electric vehicle program and instead focusing more effort on higher volume and luxury brand image-building models.

According to Automotive News, de Nysschen isn't completely in sync with overarching Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn's target of increasing Infiniti global sales from 170,000 units last year to 500,000 deliveries by March 31, 2017, stating that, "500,000 cars by 2017 is an inordinately ambitious challenge." An EV would make an insignificant dent in that total yet use up valuable resources in its development, therefore scrapping it makes sense for now.

In order to increase sales numbers anywhere close to Ghosn's seemingly unrealistic goals, Infiniti will need to expand its model offerings into more segments. Plans for a new volume compact sedan are in motion, the car set to go into production in 2015. At the same time, Infiniti has long been without a Q-ship, despite its entire car lineup taking on the "Q" designation for 2014. A new full-size flagship sedan and personal sports coupe are in the works apparently, important for incremental sales numbers and potential profitability, but also critical for a premium brand's overall image.

News has it the upcoming top-range models will pull design cues from Infiniti's gorgeous Essence Concept, although they'll be less exotic in appearance and instead focus on high-performance luxury – most likely a full-size luxury sedan styled closer to a four-door coupe is in store, as well as a true two-door coupe to do battle with the BMW 6 Series and the like. The flagship sedan will be "more Porsche Panamera-like than BMW 7 Series-like," says de Nysschen.

Despite the dis to BMW, Infiniti has long been a brand that has modeled itself after the sportier Bavarian rather than the more staid and conservative three-pointed star brand from Stuttgart, and no doubt it would love to achieve either marque's stellar sales numbers. In order to do so, expect more Infiniti model expansion into niches created by its German rivals, such as a smaller compact crossover and compact hardtop convertible.

Despite the European economic downturn, which shows little chance of turning around over the short haul at least, de Nysschen is expanding production to include England, a base to serve the entire European market. A new production facility is also being built in China, a move that will have greater initial effect on growth.

©(Copyright Canadian Auto Press)

Topics: EV, Four-Door Coupe, Luxury Sedan, Infiniti, Essence Concept, LE Concept, Electric,

Organizations: Infiniti

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Thanks for voting!

Top of page