Infiniti Could Be Downgraded to “Nissan-plus” Due to Lower Sales

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Beaten by declining sales and high costs, Nissan is embarking on a plan to cut production – which could include downgrading its luxury brand Infiniti to something closer to “Nissan-plus.”This comes from a report by Automotive news, who spoke to Nissan chief operating officer Ashwani Gupta in early June after Nissan released a new four-year plan which the automaker hopes will translate into financial stability and profitability by 2023.

Gupta told the magazine that the company will “bring Infiniti back under the name of” Nissan-plus “in terms of product and technology”, which could involve removing the rear-wheel drive models from Infiniti and replacing them with vehicles built on Nissan’s front platforms.

Nissan has worked on an electric all-wheel drive system and has almost confirmed that it will put its Ariya concept electric crossover into production. Although nothing is set in stone, according to Automotive news, Gupta said that Infiniti could equip its battery-powered vehicles with a more efficient version of Nissan’s electric powertrain. The first Infiniti vehicles under the new plan will be unveiled by 2023.

As part of its four-year plan, Nissan will reduce its global production capacity by 20% to 5.4 million vehicles per year; reduce the number of its global nameplates from 69 to less than 55 models; and reduce its fixed costs by $ 2.78 billion. It intends to focus on C and D segment cars – medium and large – as well as electric vehicles and sports cars, and will focus most of its main products in Japan, China and North America. North.

It will also continue to sell vehicles in South America, Europe and Southeast Asia, but will leave South Korea and Russia.

The ousted chief, Carlos Ghosn, has accelerated Nissan’s expansion, including entering new markets, offering commercial vehicles and bringing the Datsun nameplate to certain markets. He believed that Infiniti could sell 500,000 vehicles a year worldwide, capturing up to 10% of the global luxury market. In 2018, its best year, Infiniti sold 249,000 vehicles and fell to 188,944 in 2019.

In Canada, Infiniti sold only 10,974 vehicles in 2019. During the same period, Lexus sold 25,540 vehicles, while Acura sold 19,781.

In 2010, Ghosn reached an agreement with the Renault-Nissan Alliance and Daimler which included that each took a small share of the other, as well as platform sharing and manufacturing, and it is estimated that the relationship will continue. The two have built a joint plant in Mexico that manufactures the Infiniti QX50. Other Infiniti models are manufactured in factories in Japan, China and Smyrna, Tennessee.

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