Nissan has big plans for Infiniti’s future, and they may start with a small hatch.
Last month, Nissan announced plans to capture eight percent of the world’s automotive market by 2017 and ten percent of the global luxury market. An Automotive News source claims Infiniti will be adding a new entry-level compact car to its Infiniti lineup to take on competitors like the Audi A3 and Lexus CT 200h.
Few details about the car are known at this time. The Infiniti may be based on the Etherea concept which debuted at the Geneva Motor Show last March. Positioned under the Infiniti G model, the car will join the recently announced Infiniti JX crossover and an electric vehicle based on the Nissan Leaf, expanding the Infiniti lineup from seven to ten models. The JX is expected to go on sale in spring 2012 while the EV is set to arrive in 2014.
Infiniti is an important part of Nissan’s expansion plan. Currently, both brands compete in 80 percent of the automotive segments worldwide. Nissan Renault CEO Carlos Ghosn, though, wants to increase that figure to 92 percent by March 31, 2017. Besides increasing the number of models available, Ghosn states the automaker may start building manufacturing plants outside of Japan.
“I cannot imagine that 500,000 Infiniti cars are going to be shipped from one location,” states Ghosn. “The natural location is North America and/or China.”
Currently, all Infiniti models are built in Japan.