Is Infiniti Finally Ready To Jump Into The EV Bandwagon?
One report seems to think soby Kirby Garlitos, on
Infiniti’s association with electric vehicles dates back to 2012 when it introduced the Emerg-E Concept at the Geneva Motor Show and the LE Concept at the New York Auto Show. Since then, Nissan’s luxury brand has been quiet on that front. However, things could change soon as the brand’s decision-makers are considering introducing an electric vehicle for the Chinese market.
Infiniti president Roland Krueger spoke to Bloomberg recently, commenting on how the company plans to address the rapidly evolving future of the industry that’s leaning towards the adoption of electrification. “When I think about EV, we design it for China definitely, even as the first market to launch,” Krueger said. “We are discussing this internally constantly what is the right timing for Infiniti to have such vehicles.”
It’s no secret that if you’re a brand planning to sell EVs, the first market you look at is China. The nation became the largest EV market in the world in 2015 on the shoulders of the government investing heavily on charging infrastructure and subsidizing EV purchases for its citizens. Companies like Tesla and BMW have even made the market a priority for their future electric cars. If Infiniti decides to green light the production of its own EVs, a similar strategy would be a no-brainer.
It’s far from a foolproof approach through, which partly explains why management hasn’t embraced the idea sooner than most people thought, opting instead to focus its attention on building hybrid models that provide better range. Still, a day will come when EVs become integral to an automaker’s lineup and Infiniti, at least according to Krueger, could build an electric car quickly thanks to having parent firm Nissan and alliance partner Renault on its side. The question now is “when” that’s going to happen as opposed to “if” it’s going to happen.
Continue after the jump to read the full story.
Better act now, Infiniti
Infiniti is in a precarious position in the Chinese market as sales have slowed down this year in the wake of massive sales increases by rivals Cadillac and Lincoln, the latter of which saw its sales growth shoot up by 191 percent compared to just two percent for Nissan’s premium brand in the first nine months of the current year. That definitely shows Infiniti needs to do better in the Chinese market if it’s going to help the mothership accomplish its goal of owning at least 10 percent of the world’s luxury car market by 2020.
One way to do that is to steer into the skid and ride the Chinese market’s growing interest in electric vehicles. As it stands now, Infiniti has nine total models in China, including five SUVs. Of these nine models, only three are of the hybrid variety. Granted, neither Cadillac nor Lincoln have any hybrids or EVs to offer themselves, but the likes of Tesla and BMW do. If Infiniti really wants to get its shares up in China, it needs to really put an importance on developing EV vehicles.
At the very least, the automaker needs to understand that there’s an opportunity there for automakers to get a big piece of that pie because both the Chinese government and the auto market in the country have shown their willingness to embrace EVs. The sooner the company acknowledges that and does something about it, the better chance it has of becoming a major EV player in the biggest electric car market in the world.
Read our full review on the Infiniti EMERG-E Concept here.
Read our full review on the Infiniti LE Concept here.