Nissan Motor’s Infiniti premium brand will finally get the support in new products marketing money that it has needed for two decades now.
The first of the new Infinitis, the JX crossover, arrives in the spring of 2012, and various reports say it will be followed by a compact car based on the Etherea concept shown at the Geneva auto show last March.
The Etherea hatchback should rival the Audi A3 and BMW 1-Series and rumour suggests it will be built in North America, though not Canada; Nissan does not have production in Canada. That said, this smaller Infiniti should be popular with Canadian premium buyers.
Infiniti Canada needs something popular with Canadians. Sales in Canada were down about 16 per cent in 2011, while market share was down to 0.4 per cent from 0.5 in 2010. Compare that to Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn’s goal for Infiniti to win 10 per cent of the global luxury market by 2017 – meaning sales will need to hit 500,000 units by 2017 from about 150,000 today around the globe.