Nissan’s premium brand, which was first leveraged as a division that would tap into US premium segment demand is now expanding globally, with the new Infiniti design language aimed to be less Japanese and more passionately “Latin”.
The brand is aiming to assert itself as a global premium brand, after it was established on the US market 25 years ago, struggling to move past its inherent Japanese roots into a highly competitive worldwide luxury segment. The road is long though, as the brand’s sales in 2013 totaled around 180,000 cars – only around 10% of what German rivals – like Audi – made in the same time.
The brand’s boss, Johan de Nysschen, a former Audi executive from South Africa says that Infiniti aims to rival the “cold and clinical” German offerings with a “Latin, very Latin,” stance, aiming for Infiniti to be “a seductive provocateur … to attract people, seduce, be emotional.”
“It will take a terrific amount of time and money to achieve any measure of success. The dominance of the German luxury brands says clearly that success is a result of cumulative efforts over a long period of time. You’d have to do great cars again and again and again. That might be for 10, 15, 20 years,” he adds.
Just like any other premium brand, Infiniti aims to attract the wealthy Chinese buyers, as the country comfortably sits a top the global automotive market, with the premium sector poised to continuously grow over the next years.
Nissan’s luxury marque should grow its sales to 500,000 units over the next 4-5 years, according to De Nysschen, with around 100,000 units reaching Chinese shores, a great improvement over last fiscal year’s 21,000 deliveries in China.