Nissan is planning to bring in its premium car brand ‘Infiniti’ to India. The company has not yet decided on when the brand will come to India but it will likely be close on the heels of Toyota.
Toyota, the Japanese auto major had also announced that it would bring its premium car brand ‘Lexus’ to India by 2013. The booming luxury car segment in India is one of the main reasons that attract luxury car makers to set shops in the country.
“The market for luxury cars in India is growing and the company is looking at ways to enter. Infiniti is our global brand and our intention is to cover the world, including India,” Andy Palmer, V-P at Nissan Motor Corporation, was quoted as saying by The Times of India.
If Nissan imports its Infiniti models via the CBU (Completely Built Unit) it would be more expensive due to high import duty. On the other hand, Infiniti has to compete with Mercedes-Benz, Audi and BMW which assemble some of their models locally (via the Completely Knocked Down [CKD] route). Hence, it would take a couple of years for Infiniti to assemble their cars in India and price them competitively.
Headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, Infiniti is a luxury brand division of the Japanese auto maker, Nissan and was started in 1989. Infiniti heads on with other Japanese luxury brands such as Lexus (owned by Toyota) and Acura (owned by Honda) as well as its German rivals, BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz. Just like BMW M-series, Infiniti unveiled its performance division dubbed the ‘Infiniti Performance Line’ or ‘IPL’.
The brand’s new technology consists of the introduction of Anti Scratch Advanced Paint or ASAP. Infiniti currently sells its luxury cars through 230 dealers in over 15 countries across the globe. Last year 1,50,000 units of Infiniti cars were sold.
Infiniti car models
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 (to compete with Merc C Class), Infiniti M sedan (to compete with Merc E Class), Infiniti EX (to compete with BMW X3) Infiniti FX (to compete with BMW X5) will likely be a decent line-up to start with. Let’s take a brief look at the Infiniti models offered in overseas market.
The Infiniti G model is offered in sedan, coupe and convertible body types. The G37 sedan is powered by a 3.7-litre V6 petrol engine that puts out 320 bhp of power. The G37 is the entry-level sedan in the Infiniti lineup and competes with the Mercedes-Benz C-Class, BMW 3-series and Audi A4.
The Infiniti M model is available only in sedan body type. The M sedan is available in two versions: a 3-litre, V6 diesel that puts out 238 bhp of power and 549 Nm of torque and a 3.7-litre V6 petro engine that puts out 320 bhp of power. The Infiniti M competes with the Mercedes-Benz E-Class, BMW 5-series and Audi A6.
The Infiniti EX is a five seater SUV. The EX is offered in three engine variants: a 3-litre V6 diesel motor that puts out 238 bhp of power and 746 Nm of torque, a 3.5-litre V6 petrol motor that churns out 297 bhp of power and a 3.7-litre V6 petrol motor that produces 320 bhp of power. The Infiniti EX takes on the Audi Q5, Mercedes-Benz GLK and the BMW X3.
The Infiniti FX is a five seater SUV and is positioned above the EX. The FX comes in three engine options which include a 3-litre V6, 3.5-litre V6, 3.7-litre V6 with same power and torque configuration as in the EX. The FX is also offered in a powerful 5-litre V8 petrol motor that puts out a massive 390 bhp of power and 500 Nm of torque. The FX takes less than 6 seconds to reach 100 kmph from standstill and has a top speed of 249 kmph.
The Infiniti JX is a seven seater SUV and was introduced in 2011. The JX is offered in only engine variant: 3.5-litre V6 petrol motor that puts out 265 bhp of power. The Infiniti JX competes with the Audi Q7, BMW X5 and the Mercedes-Benz M-Class.