Nissan’s Infiniti plans to turn profitable in the following three or four years, as it starts production in China and adds entry-level vehicles.
In 2012, Infiniti moved its headquarters to Hong Kong from Japan as it plans to begin manufacturing vehicles in China in the third quarter of 2014 and add new models to increase global sales this year by 10% to 200,000 units, according to President Johan de Nysschen.
“We really have been a U.S.-centric brand,” de Nysschen said on Bloomberg TV’s “Asia Edge” show with Susan Li and Rishaad Salamat in Hong Kong. “The future has got to be for us to look at China.”
Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn hired the former Audi US head, de Nysschen, to revamp the Infiniti brand and help the company get a bigger share of the luxury auto market in China and boost global sales to 500,000 units annually and even surpass Mercedes-Benz, Audi and Lexus. In 2012, Infiniti’s global sales have been below 200,000 units and 12,551 units were sold in China.
The automaker said this year it will change its models names, adding Q for cars, QX for light trucks, part of its plan to expand in China and the US. Infiniti presented last month the Q50 sports car at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, the first attempt to challenge BMW, Mercedes and Audi.