Infiniti finally gets serious about hybrid cars Business

25 Апр 2014 | Author: | Комментарии к записи Infiniti finally gets serious about hybrid cars Business отключены
Infiniti Electric Cars

Infiniti finally gets about hybrid cars

De La Torre / AP

Infiniti is attempting to up its image after 23 years of to develop a clear identity.

By A. Eisenstein, msnbc.com contributor

plans to lift the covers off first battery-electric luxury car the upcoming New York Auto

Company executives suggest expect some serious numbers from the new model. But the benefit is likely to come credibility. Like its parent, Motor Co. Infiniti has been to embrace more conventional technology. Japanese rival already offers gas-electric on most of its line-up.

European such as BMW and Mercedes-Benz, are rushing to with their own hybrid


So Infiniti is hoping to use the battery which shares the basic of the Nissan Leaf, to position as a legitimate player in the global market.

Since its 1989 — which coincided the debut of the far more successful — Infiniti has struggled to a clear identity and claw its way out of the tier of luxury brands. In it wasn’t all that many ago that some analysts speculating whether the Nissan would even survive.

But is back on the luxury map with a of distinctive designs, strong and well-regarded powertrains. And with the launch of the yet-unnamed battery car as well as the more mainstream JX vehicle — this prove to be one of the most significant in Infiniti’s two-decade history.

If the battery car is intended to put a halo the brand, the JX is designed to put butts in as industry marketers like to The 3-row, 7-seat CUV fills a big gap the smaller, sportier FX and the mammoth and Infiniti QX.

“We were the market and losing people,” Sean McNamara, Infiniti’s manager of product planning.

with the JX, there are plenty of in the Infiniti line-up, cautions Bragman of IHS Automotive. But the situation is a lot than it was not all that long ago Infiniti not only had fewer but models were decidedly

That began to change the debut of the compact of the edgy FX and the G-car line, which up against the likes of the Mercedes and BMW 3-Series. Japanese luxury have had a history of playing it but corporate design chief Nakamura had developed enough to press the boundaries, winning and a surge of new buyers.

“The Infiniti design is finally coming into its says analyst Bragman, we’re finally seeing the between Infiniti and Nissan

Nakamura continues to push the with concept vehicles the Etherea, a sports car-like model, as well as the Emerg-E, the applauded plug-in hybrid that made its debut at the Motor Show earlier month.

Of course, it’s to have the resources to back up design efforts. And a production of the sleek, silver Etherea is in showrooms by mid-decade. It will from an expanding alliance Nissan, its long-time partner and the German Daimler AG, parent of

Infiniti Electric Cars

Etherea will use the same as the next-generation Mercedes A-Class, also debuted in Geneva year.

In turn, Mercedes get a version of a small Nissan for use in the next C-Class. And together, the partners are working on advanced drivelines that could show up in models such as a version of the Emerg-E.

The cost of a small car from the ground up is “I don’t know if would have otherwise had the without the alliance, says though he warns that it be critical for Infiniti to differentiate the and feel of its products and not appear to be a clone of Mercedes.

If it works, the could be significant. Infiniti was on a roll, coming out of the worst the auto industry had seen in sales rebounding from an low point in 2009 to more 103,000 a year later. For Infiniti seemed poised to perhaps even beat, its record of 136,000, set in 2005.

Then disaster struck. like the rest of the Japanese the March 2011 earthquake and led to production cuts and serious and sales slipping to 98,461. But it have been much contends planning chief

Nissan and Infiniti rebounded than most of its competitors and it has posting strong gains the new year.

And not just in the U.S. recently, Infiniti focused on America, the world’s largest market. But over the last years Infiniti has been rolling out across the globe and is now in 46 different countries.

In an unusual Nissan announced plans, last year, to move headquarters to Hong Kong. see an opportunity to reinforce Asian within the Infiniti brand, from both Nissan and our luxury competitors,” explains Executive Vice President Palmer.

It will likely take a few to see if it all pays off. But Nissan is its luxury brand will showing momentum and could climb out of the second tier

Infiniti Electric Cars
Infiniti Electric Cars

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