Nissan's luxury brand Infiniti aims to double its sales in Europe during the 2011 fiscal year, according to company officials. The expected growth will be fueled not only by the introduction of new models and powertrain options, but also by the expansion of its dealer network.
"In 2011, Western Europe will be somewhere between 7,000 and 8,000 units" said Infiniti Europe Vice President Jim Wright in an interview with Automotive News. That is a substantial increase over the 4,500 units sold in the 2010 fiscal year ending March 31, albeit still not even close to challenging the other premium automakers in Europe (i.e. BMW sold 45,600 cars in January 2011 alone).
The introduction of new models such as the Infiniti M sedan, as well as the addition of a diesel option on the EX and FX crossovers, are expected to lead to increased sales. This spring, the M35h hybrid will also join Infiniti’s European range, offering buyers an eco-friendly alternative to the petrol and diesel variants of the M series.
The Infiniti official also expects growth from Russia, where sale volumes should equal those from Western Europe, at 7,000 to 8,000 units (up from 6,000 in fiscal year 2010).
Mr. Wright added that Infiniti will continue to expand the dealer network across Europe, as the company plans to have 60 dealerships in Western Europe by the end of fiscal year 2011, 20 more than in 2010. As for the Russian and Ukrainian market, Infiniti is counting on jumping from its current 14 stores to 19 or 20.
The upcoming entry-level model previewed by the Etherea concept at the Geneva Motor Show is not included in Infiniti’s current plans, as the car is not expected to arrive before 2013.
By Dan Mihalascu
Via: Autonews Europe [Sub. Req.]