Nissan Motor’s premium Infiniti brand is examining when to introduce a pure electric vehicle with the outlook for need in China in mind.
Infiniti now sells 9 models in China, five of them are SUVs and the remaining sedans. 6 of the automobiles operate on gas and the others, hybrid designs.
“When I think of EV, we design it for China certainly, even as the first market to launch,” Infiniti President Roland Krueger said during an interview in Hong Kong last week. “We are discussing this internally continuously what is the best timing for Infiniti to have such automobiles.”
Premium brand names consisting of Tesla Motors Inc and BMW AG are counting on China to drive sales of electrical vehicles, as the country surpassed U.S. to become the world’s biggest EV market in 2015 after the federal government invested greatly to build charging facilities and subsidize purchases. Infiniti, which has postponed the production of an all-electric sedan based upon its LE concept vehicle displayed in 2012, is focusing on hybrid models that have much better range, Krueger stated.
Infiniti could be “very fast” in putting the electrical car on the market when a decision is reached, as it has the technological support from parent Nissan and alliance partner Renault SA, Krueger stated.
Sales are slow in China this year for Infiniti, gaining 2 percent in the first nine months and trailing its worldwide growth of 7 percent. Competing brands such as General Motors’ Cadillac and Ford Motor’s imported Lincoln have recorded sales boosts of 38 percent and 191 percent, respectively, in the exact same period.
Infiniti had established its head office in Hong Kong in 2012 to be closer to the mainland market, has to do much better in China if it’s to help CEO Carlos Ghosn achieve his target of catching 10 percent of the international luxury car market by 2020.
Infiniti will present the QX30 sports energy automobile in China next month, having a 1.6-liter engine tailored for the Chinese market to get approved for a federal government tax cut for small vehicles. The model will even more boost its sales this year, Krueger informed. The QX30 has helped power a 155 percent sales dive in Western Europe this year.
” It’s a smaller car that adds new clients to the brand,” stated Krueger. “We are rather confident that we can outgrow last year, for both the world and China.”