A week after Nissan’s Infiniti finally, officially moved into its new digs in Hong Kong’s Citibank Tower, the company finally, officially confirmed that Infiniti cars will be produced in China starting in 2014. If you think you heard that before, you did. Nissan’s worst kept secret had kept the Chinese rumor mill in motion for more than a year.
The official announcement was expected for the Beijing Auto Show, but it did not come – last minute delays to the inevitable. Finally and as expected, the Xiangyang plant of the Dongfeng-Nissan joint venture was selected to make two Infiniti models initially. The Xiangyang plant in Hubei province produces Nissan’s Teana bread&butter midsize sedan. The made-in-China Infinitis will most likely be similar in size to keep cost down.
Producing volume models in China while importing higher end iron is a strategy that was successfully employed by premium brands such as Audi, BMW and Mercedes.
Toyota’s Lexus is a prominent holdout in the Made-in-China movement. Privately citing quality concerns, Lexus still produces most of its cars at home in Japan. Infiniti does not share these concerns. Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn repeatedly praised Nissan’s Chinese joint venture plants in Xiangyang and Huadu as the best in Nissan’s system.