While already an established name in China and the US, Nissan has so far been unable to break into the elite raft of top 10 carmakers on European shores, and it sees its luxury vehicle division as the key.
In ambitiously stepping up efforts in Europe, the manufacturer accepts it will face stiff competition from the likes of Audi and BMW, themselves plying their trade in home markets.
In 2015, upwards of 90% of Infiniti’s 215,000 vehicles were sold in the US and China – largely down the successes of the larger Q50 and Q70 models.
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It is now targeting what is a thriving premium market in Europe, with sales up across the leading names Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Audi. With higher margins than their mass-market counterparts, these companies have enjoyed higher earnings across the board – a slice of the pie Nissan is looking to take.
It joins the likes of Lexus, Jaguar and Volvo, each already vying for the attention of prestige car drivers.
Unlike most luxury saloons, the Infiniti design is relatively angular, while the colour of model shown across most advertising campaigns is a distinctive pink-brown, a deliberate ploy by the company to make it stand out amongst the crowd.
As part of its new initiative, Nissan has already moved global production of the Q30 to its Sunderland plant, which it has expanded thanks to a £250m investment in the north-east.
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At the start of the year, Infiniti launched a European TV advert which promoted the Q30 with the tag line “born to challenge” – but it insists it will no longer spend money on blanket campaigns going forward, due to its desire for potential customers to spot cars out and about.
It is the wish of François Goupil de Bouillé, European director for Infiniti, to have consumers seeing “one Infiniti car every day” to raise awareness over time.