The Nissan-owned brand Infiniti is eyeing an attractive opening for its first all-electric vehicle, with an eye on the rapid growth underway in the Chinese market, according to recent reports.
As it stands, Infiniti has 9 models for sale in the Chinese market, 4 sedans and 5 SUVs. Most are 100% gas cars, but 3 are conventional hybrids.
“When I think about EV, we design it for China definitely, even as the first market to launch,” commented Infiniti President Roland Krueger in a recent interview in Hong Kong. “We are discussing this internally constantly — what is the right timing for Infiniti to have such vehicles.”
Auto News provides more: “Infiniti, which has delayed the production of an all-electric sedan based on its LE concept car shown in 2012, is focusing on hybrid models that have better range, Krueger said. Infiniti could be ‘very fast’ in putting the electric car on the market once a decision is reached, as it has the technological backing from parent Nissan Motor Co and alliance partner Renault, Krueger said.”
Continuing: “Sales have slowed in China this year for Infiniti, gaining 2% in the first nine months and trailing its global growth of 7%. Rival brands such as General Motors Co’s Cadillac and Ford Motor Co’s imported Lincoln have recorded sales increases of 38% and 191%, respectively, in the same period. Infiniti, which set up its headquarters in Hong Kong in 2012 to be closer to the mainland market, has to do better in China if it’s to achieve a target of capturing 10% of the global luxury car market by 2020.”
As noted above, the company has apparently not decided anything yet, but rather seems to be waiting to see when the best opportunity for entering the electric vehicle market is. Considering it will likely just be recycling technologies already developed by Nissan and Renault, the brand seemingly has a lot more flexibility than most brands do, but waiting to launch an EV and being a laggard in the market still seems like a risky approach.