Nissan Motors move underscores a deep rooted strategy as it tries to elevate Inifinity’s brand image the way Tesla has done for its offerings – producing a sleek, highly desirable, premium lineup of electric cars.
In a strategic development, Nissan Motor Co stated, by quickly shifting gear and increasing the production of its electric vehicle offerings in China, one of the fastest growing markets among emerging economies, it aims to more than triple its sales in the country.
Nissan aims to boost the production of its Infiniti EV model to around 150,000 vehicles a year, up from 48,000 in 2017, said the brand’s global chief, Roland Krueger in an interview in Beijing.
Although China’s premium car market is growing, and generated 2.5 million in vehicles sales in 2017, it nevertheless accounts for less than 10% of the country’s overall auto market.
In comparison, premium cars account for nearly 30% of the auto market in Germany and 12% in the U.S., said Kruger.
He went on to add, “there is a huge growth potential in China for us”.
From 2021, every Infiniti model that will be launched will be either an all-electric car or so-called “e-Power” hybrid. This underlies Nissan’s strategy of placing the Infiniti brand primarily in the EV market space.
More than 50% of Infiniti’s global sales will be electric vehicles by 2025, he said .
“Growth is phenomenal, and we might see a million electric cars sold this year. Almost doubling sales,” said Krueger.
Within the next 5 years, Nissan wants to produce at least 6 Infiniti models locally in China.
Combining localization and electrification, “we want to triple our volume within the next five years at a minimum,” said Krueger.
For the majority of the last two decades, the premium auto segment has been dominated by brands including BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz. With China’s growing appetite for upscale cars, the luxury car market has seen a sizable jump in competition with automakers Tesla, Cadillac, Lincoln, Lexus and Acura grabbing a bigger piece of the pie.
“Customer preferences are changing fast. We have data showing that from 2011 to 2016, interest in the EV among Chinese customers has tripled,” said Krueger. “This is a huge opportunity for us as a challenger brand.”