Johan de Nysschen president of Nissan Motor Co.’s Infiniti brand puts EV plans on hold and reduces sales expectations.
Johan de Nysschen said that Infiniti might not be able to reach its target of nearly triple sales in four years, but he remains committed to rapid growth. He plans to focus on the new models, which can deliver quick volume, which means turning the attention from an electric vehicle.
The halo vehicles he envisions above the current lineup will be more practical, their design will be different from the dramatic sports-car concepts introduced at the recent auto shows and will not be pure performance offerings. When Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn hired de Nysschen after recruiting him from Audi, he was given the task of reaching 500,000 Infiniti vehicles sold by the end of March 2017. In 2012 Infiniti sold only 170,000 vehicles.
“I’m under absolutely no illusion — 500,000 cars by 2017 is an inordinately ambitious challenge,” de Nysschen, 53, said in an interview. “We really do have to get our heads around how we can bring the brand in that direction.”
To reach the goal de Nysschen plans to make new investments to begin Infiniti production in the UK and China, preparing at least two halo nameplates above the current flagship M sedan, which will get a new name, the Q70.
“It will be more Porsche Panamera-like than BMW 7 series-like,” he said. “We could then quite conceivably use the same platform to create a more compact 2+2, two-door coupe that could perhaps just dial up the performance and design appeal.”