Renault/Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn wanted to announce it Monday or Tuesday in person in Beijing. On the other hand, the upcoming production of Infiniti cars in China leaked last week, after Nissan’s worst kept secret had kept the Chinese rumor mill in motion for more than a year. After Gallic shrugs all around, Nissan confirmed today that two Infiniti models will be manufactured locally in China from 2014. Ghosn will have to find something else to feed the media on Monday. Dim sum perhaps?
Production in China “is not an option but a necessity to our success,” said Andy Palmer, who recently was made Executive Vice President of the Global Infiniti & Luxury Business Unit. Without local production, import duties make cars expensive. Luxury brands Audi, BMW, Mercedes all produce their volume models in China, and then import top-of-the-line models for the Chinese who has everything.
Nissan wants to sell 500,000 Infinitis by 2016, something which even Palmer calls “an aggressive target.”
The two unnamed models will be manufactured at likewise unnamed facilities operated by Nissan’s joint venture with Dongfeng. The Nikkei [sub]thinks it will be the Xiangyang plant in Hubei Province.