The world’s largest auto market keeps attracting the global automakers, with companies aiming to also establish a firmer foothold into the rising luxury segment.
Japan’s Nissan has revealed yesterday it decided to form a joint venture to build and sell the Infiniti brand vehicles locally, with the new company called Dongfeng Infiniti and 50% owned by Nissan and Dongfeng Motor Corp, a division of Chinese automaker Dongfeng Motor Group Co Ltd. Dongfeng, best known globally for its new alliance with European carmaker PSA Peugeot Citroen already operates a joint venture with Nissan (among others) in China.
“We will double our endeavors to build Infiniti into a mainstream premium auto brand in China which is truly rooted here and loved by Chinese consumers,” comments Daniel Kirchert, the president of the newly established Infiniti venture.
Nissan already moved the global headquarters of the Infiniti brand to Hong Kong two years ago as it mulled to crackdown the competitive luxury market in China. The sales target for the year is 30,000 units, an 80% increase from the figure accounted in 2013. Also, the carmaker added that by 2018 it mulls sales of 100,000 units in the country, with more than half of the vehicles to be built locally.
An existing factory – located in the central Hubei province – with a tentative output start in November, will handle the Infiniti production. The plant already builds Nissan vehicles, namely the mass-market Teana and Murano models.
The production of Infiniti models in China follows similar decisions taken by General Motors for its Cadillac brand, as the Japanese luxury brand aims to better compete with the reigning German trio: Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz.