Japan-based auto-maker Nissan is planning to bring its Infiniti premium car brand to India according to Autocar India Editor Hormazd Sorabjee who tweeted about the development. Rumours about Infiniti entering India have been on as early as 2007 though Nissan had been denying them citing the steep 110% import duty and insufficient demand for Infiniti cars as the main reasons. However, with the Indian luxury car market now picking up pace, Nissan believes that this might just be the right time to launch the brand in the country.
Headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, Infiniti is a luxury brand division of Nissan that was started in 1989. Internationally, Infiniti competes with other Japanese luxury brands such as Lexus (owned by Toyota) and Acura (owned by Honda) as well as German rivals like BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz.
Taking cue from other car makers such as BMW and Mercedes, Infiniti too has a performance division dubbed Infiniti Performance Line or ‘IPL’. The IPL boasts of new technologies like Anti Scratch Advanced Paint (ASAP and the “Around View,” which is an optics system that allows the driver to see a complete image of the car’s surroundings. These features are extremely useful in the Indian context, considering the conditions we drive in. Infiniti currently sells its luxury cars through 230 dealers in over 15 countries across the globe.
Infiniti’s nomenclature includes naming the sedan with one alphabet and naming the crossovers or SUVs with two alphabets. The Infiniti luxury brand has G, M, EX, FX and QX models in its international portfolio. In India, the Infiniti G sedan (that will compete with Mercedes C-Class), Infiniti M sedan (to compete with Mercedes E-Class) and the Infiniti EX (to compete with BMW X3) Infiniti FX (to compete with BMW X5) seem to be a decent line-up to start with. Also read: 2011 Infiniti EX35 priced $34,150; specs and photos now official
Currently BMW holds around 40% of the luxury car market in India followed by Mercedes-Benz and Audi. The monthly sales of these brand cars are increasing consistently and Infiniti would be eyeing a pie of that market.