Nissan has worked to establish its Infiniti luxury brand in the United States, Europe, and elsewhere. Now, it's looking to do the same in the home market. Infiniti-branded cars could begin appearing in Japan as early as this winter, Reuters reports.
The 2014 Infiniti Q50 will arrive in Japan first. Previous versions of this luxury sedan (formerly known as the G) were sold in Japan with Nissan Skyline badges. Infinitis will be sold through existing Nissan dealerships rather than through a dedicated dealer network. Nissan may add multiple models to the lineup if sales warrant it.
Infiniti started out as an attempt to compete with rival Japanese car makers Honda and Toyota's respective Acura and Lexus divisions. Like those brands, Infiniti was supposed to offer a more premium image for brand conscious foreign buyers that associated Japanese cars only with economical transportation.
Now, Infiniti boss Johan de Nysschen is trying to reinvent the brand. Last month, de Nysschen said "de-Americanizing" was the key to Infiniti's success, saying the brand needs to offer more efficient engine options to appeal to buyers outside the U.S. Japanese buyers are apparently included in that group.
From this un-American product strategy to the amount of new technology that peppers the Q50, Infiniti is certainly making some changes. Will any of them allow it to break out of parent Nissan's shadow and, more importantly, take on the dominant German luxury brands? Stay tuned to find out.