By on May 29, 2012

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.

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8 Comments on “Honestly Now: Infiniti Really Officially To Start Production In China...”

  • avatar

    ” Toyota’s Lexus is a prominent holdout in the Made-in-China movement ”

    Of course. Otherwise, it would be like buying a Swiss watch that’s made in Thailand.

    I buy the stuff because of its inherent Japanese-ness and the fact that it’s handcrafted and put together in a technological, social marvel of a nation.

    • 0 avatar

      >Otherwise, it would be like buying a Swiss watch that’s made in Thailand.

      That is a fair point, but you ostensibly missed out on the Tag Heurer scandal when eagle eyed enthusiasts identified one of their movements as a duplicate of Seiko’s.

    • 0 avatar

      I’ll give you the Japanese-ness. But I’m pretty sure Lexus production lines are probably one of the most robotized and automated in the industry, with a few human button pushers on the side for the most part.

      Even stuff that’s reputedly “handmade” probably isn’t done in the traditional definition of “handmade”. See AMG. Some are more “handmade” than others.

  • avatar

    Lots of “Swiss” watches with Chinese pars that pass Switzerland’s standards for “Swiss Made”. A Swiss made watch is a minimum criteria that they (the watch makers) have decided to a call a Swiss made a watch. They do this, so they can outsource many of the functions in the creation of a watch to the far east and still call it Swiss made. It wasn’t for the consumers benefit. It was for the industry to have it both ways.

    A Swiss movement is Swiss if 51% of its value came from Switzerland.

    Which isn’t too hard if the 49% was paying people a couple of bucks an hour to assemble most of the movements. They ship it to Switzerland, give the movement to the watch assembler, ca-ching!!! The Swiss assembler makes X times the amount that the Chinese worker does. A tiny bit of work on the Swiss end will get you over 50% of value and you have a Swiss made watch.

    • 0 avatar

      Makes sense. The real “value” of a “Swiss Watch” is in the giant marketing push they did back in the seventies to plant the idea that a mechanical-movement watch made in Switzerland was worth the ten-thousand-percent markup over a quartz-movement watch made in Japan. That has to count for way more than 51%.

    • 0 avatar

      It’s kind of like New Balance shoes – a perennial favorite for the Buy American folks. They endlessly trumpet that they manufacture in their factories in New England. But look a bit closer and one sees that 70% of materials have to be domestic to be labeled “Made in USA” but should that figure fall below 70%, they still put on a “Made in USA with domestic and imported materials” tag on it. “Under 70%” could, I suppose, be 0.000001%-69.99%. Could the 0.000001% be the work of putting on the “Made in USA” label?

  • avatar

    Can those ladies sing the ” No Car, No House, No Money in the Bank” song?

  • avatar

    I find it interesting that Infiniti has phoneticized its name to Chinese “ying fei ni de” instead of using a direct translation. Then I realized had they directly translated “Infiniti” / “infinity”, then they would come up with the exact same Japanese kanji characters for “Mugen” (無限). Are those “Mugen” guys still around? Remember all those stickers back in the 80s?

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