Nissan said it could take two years before Infiniti brand becomes profitable in the European premium car market.
Currently Infiniti’s V6 and V8 engines make the brand compete mainly in the upper end of the market, which reflects in low sales such as only 4,000 units in a premium car market of 2.5 million vehicles. The automaker believes that a four cylinder engine will boost the brand’s sales.
“We will get into the game once we have an extended model line up, starting with four cylinder diesel and petrol engines and also new products in new segments,” said Bernard Loire, Vice President of Infiniti Europe.
The company has already planned a future premium compact, and Mercedes-Benz luxury brand will be the one to provide smaller powertrains and the front-wheel-drive design. The new model will feature combustion engines and it is expected to be manufactured in Europe.
“This is going to be for Infiniti the volume maker and probably the first visible model in the European market place,” Loire said.
Loire said that he doesn’t know when production will be started as the automaker hasn’t chosen a plant yet. But he declared that the model is expected to sale about 40.000-50.000 units annually and that neither Mercedes nor Infiniti have any interest in sharing the same engines. Therefore Mercedes’ won’t supply engines for a long term.