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Infiniti : Nissan Looking At Ending It


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Not what you want to read if you've just bought a new Infiniti.

Or spent millions setting up a new Infiniti dealership.

From the SMH Drive website as reported from the Detroit motorshow

http://smh.drive.com...0124-2d98b.html

“Very frankly, very candidly, we don't need Infiniti, we just don't need that brand.”

That's what Nissan executive vice-president Andy Palmer told US site Wards Auto at the Detroit motor show last week.

Palmer says he warned Nissan chief executive Carlos Ghosn he should kill off the luxury brand, and Ghosn was close to doing so.

“Mr Ghosn challenged me and said, 'We don't have to do Infiniti, you can cancel it if you want.' ”

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Palmer spoke openly of the fact that Infiniti cars hadn't been built to the same standards as European luxury makes.

“[infiniti has] nice premium cars, but frankly, [they're] kind of discount,” he was quoted as saying. “And we've been selling those cars over a period of 23 years with a Nissan-push mentality.”

But Palmer said he believed things were set to change under the watch of former Audi US boss Johan de Nysschen.

The brand has ambitious plans to replace its ageing fleet. Infiniti showcased perhaps its most important model at the Detroit motor show this year, the new Q50 sedan. That car rivals the likes of the BMW 3-Series, Audi A4 and Mercedes-Benz C-Class.

At the reveal of that car, de Nysschen told Drive the brand needs to think outside of the US if it wants to grow to be a truly global player in the luxury car market, particularly with the rest of the high-end makers moving to downsized engines.

Although its clear that they will stick around, their lack of commitment to the brand is not good to read for owners of the cars or employees working for them.

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