After wrapping up India plans for Renault and Nissan, Nissan CEO and MD Carlos Ghosn is set for the rollout of another car brand – Infiniti – in the country.
Infiniti, the Nissan-owned company, produces luxury cars in the
US and Canada. The company will debut in Europe next year. Infiniti’s global foray, including in India, is in line with the company’s strategy of exploring markets beyond the US.
“Nissan’s focus on India is based on the cars from Nissan’s stable. However, we are witnessing a surge in demand for luxury cars in India. We are looking to launch the Infiniti brand in the country,” the famous French CEO had said.
Ghosn’s announcement comes after US car maker General Motors’ said it was planning to launch prominent US brands such as Hummer and Cadillac in other local markets.
Cars from Infiniti are priced in the range of $34,000-$52,000
(Rs 16 lakh to Rs 21 lakh) in the US market. It is not clear whether the company will go for local production in India, considering the huge-sized Chennai facility. The plant may start production in 2009 or may sell the cars as direct imports (completely built units).
Import of the car may push its price to near double. After payment of custom duties, amounting to 100 per cent of the vehicle cost, the end price may reach in the range of Rs 32 lakh and Rs 42 lakh, pitting it directly against Mercedes E Class, Audi A4, BMW 3 and 5 series.
Infiniti sells G sedan and the G coupe, along with M, FX and QX in the US and Canada. FX and QX are sports utility vehicles (SUVs) in the line up and M and G luxury sedans.
Infiniti will join the club of luxury auto manufacturers who have already charted out their India plans. The list includes Lotus, owned by Malaysian car maker Proton, US-based Chrysler, Toyota-owned Lexus and the Fiat- owned Alfa Romeo and Maserati.
Ghosn and his two auto firms, Renault and Nissan, have been in the news for becoming one of the largest foreign multi-national companies to have an extended relationship with Indian auto players.
As both companies are pulling out their range of commercial and passenger vehicles through joint ventures with Bajaj Auto, Mahindra and Mahindra and Ashok Leyland, Ghosn is all set to tap the burgeoning demand for cars and commercial vehicles in India.
With the introduction of Infiniti, the companies will be present in the luxury, small car, mid-sized sedan and the commercial vehicle segments.