Infiniti is planning to announce a new sales target of 10% global luxury market share - quadrupling sales to 700,000 a year - in a new mid-term statement due this summer.
Renault Nissan chief executive Carlos Ghosn told CAR that Infiniti is on line to sell 165,000 cars worldwide in 2011 but said Nissan was investing heavily in its premium division to swell sales considerably.
It's an ambitious goal: if successful, Infiniti would be encroaching on the 1m+ territory today dominated by the German luxury brands.
Carlos Ghosn: 'Infiniti will conquer 10% of the premium market'
In an exclusive interview with CAR, Ghosn said Infiniti's inhouse target had risen to 700,000, but he declined to put a timeframe on that volume.
'Our long-term goal is 10% of the global luxury car market,' Ghosn told CAR. 'If you want a very rough number, I would say the luxury car market is about 10% of the overall car market globally. Some people tell you luxury is this, some people tell you it is that. But let’s not get into that debate.
'In 2010 the whole industry sold 73 million cars globally and luxury accounts for about 7 million cars. So it’s very simple, we have a budget in 2011 of 165,000. But the goal is 10%, so our goal is 700,000 luxury cars.
'This is not going to happen tomorrow. We have to be present in China, we have to reinforce our position in the US, be present in Europe with the engines and cars that are neeed, move into the markets where we are absent - you know, in South America, we're already in the Middle East, we are developing in Russia. It’s a long journey, but it’s a good one. We have the will and the technology to do it and hopefully we have the styling and the taste and what it takes to build a great brand.'
How Infiniti plans to get to 700,000 sales
Infiniti sales have been sluggish to date in Europe - it only sold 232 cars in the UK in 2010 in its first full year on sale - but look at the wider global picture and you'll see increases in most markets.
Sales in China have doubled annually for the past few years and markets such as Russia and the Middle East are rising too. Ghosn plans to spread the reliance on the North American markets, which today account for two-thirds of global sales.
But as well as entering new markets, Infiniti will grow its product range to include more small diesels engines, a small hatchback to rival the Audi A3 and an electric car in 2013.
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