Infiniti Delays EV To Focus On Higher Volume Models

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Infiniti’s new boss Johan de Nysschen is shaking up strategy at the Japanese luxury automaker in an attempt to reach a self-imposed goal of 500,000 unit sales by 2016. That’s almost triple the amount of cars Infiniti sold last year but de Nysschen believes he can achieve that goal with the right strategies in place.

At the top of the agenda is a focus on higher volume models, such as Infiniti’s upcoming compact car, new crossovers and even a pair of flagship models. There are also plans to start production of Infiniti models in more locations around the globe, including at plants in the U.K. and China.

Unfortunately for electric car proponents, the refocus means a delay in the launch of Infiniti’s first EV.

At the 2012 New York Auto Show, Infiniti unveiled the LE concept car and promised a production version within the next two years. The LE was based on the platform of the Nissan Leaf so the quick gestation is not unreasonable.  

However, speaking with Automotive News (subscription required), de Nysschen said plans for an Infiniti electric car were still in place but the timing for its release, originally slated for 2014, had been changed.

The launch of the Infiniti electric car was part of Renault Nissan Group CEO Carlos Ghosn’s plan to have 1.5 million EV sales by 2016. Currently, the numbers are hovering around 100,000 units.

The focus on volume will also mean the planned flagships won’t be as exclusive as originally envisaged. Designed to slot in above the current M70 (former M sedan), the new flagships will be launched before the end of the decade and will include a sedan and a GT.

The sedan won’t be a conventional model like an S Class or 7-Series but something akin to the Porsche Panamera, de Nysschen explained. The GT, meanwhile, will be a 2+2 coupe riding on the same platform as the sedan. Infiniti’s stunning Essence concept of 2009 is said to point the way for the design of the new coupe.

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