Nissan’s premium manufacturer, Infiniti, said it expects to repeat 2013’s increase of about 50 % in sales volume in China, its second-biggest market.
Sales by the Infiniti group jumped 54 percent to 17,108 units in the world’s biggest auto market last year, the Japanese carmaker said. China will probably become Infiniti’s biggest market by sales volume by the end of this decade, according to Johan de Nysschen, Infiniti’s president.
“We expect to see continuous growth from our business in China,” said Johan de Nysschen, in Beijing on Jan. 11. “I would not at all be surprised to see if the current 50 % annual growth may well be repeated during 2014.”
Infiniti expects to begin local production of two long-wheelbase models, the Q50 sedan and QX50 crossover, this year. Automakers offer stretched versions of their models for China, as consumers there prefer to be chauffeured and seek more backseat comfort.
The luxury Japanese automaker targets sales of more than 100,000 units in China within five years, Daniel Kirchert, managing director of Infiniti China, also said in Beijing.
China’s main car association last week forecast that the world’s biggest automobile market will see slower growth this year as anti-pollution and austerity campaigns spread.
The country became the first to see domestic sales surpass 20 million units a year, and will see deliveries rise as much as 10 % in 2014 after last year’s 14 % growth, according to the state-backed China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.