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The day before the Sydney Motorshow last week, Nissan Australia CEO & MD Dan Thompson as well as Nissan International’s chief operating officer (number two), Toshiuiki Shiga, were in Sydney to brief a group of journalists about the future of the Japanese automaker in Australia and worldwide.

Nissan, which last month ranked as the seventh best selling car maker in Australia, is determined to overtake Mitsubishi, Mazda and Hyundai and become the largest importer of vehicles to Australia by 2012. Mr Thompson believes Nissan can gain at least 10 percent market share in the next two years.

In addition to a revamping its model line up to include volume sellers like the Nissan Micra, X-Trail Series III, updated Pathfinder and of course the all-new Patrol, Nissan has confirmed that its luxury brand Infiniti is also on its way.

The news isn’t new, however we now know that the Infinit range is expected to go on sale in Australia in 2012. This will Nissan compete in a whole new sector and take on the likes of Audi, Lexus, BMW and Mercedes-Benz. The Luxury brand currently sells the G series Sedan, coupe and convertible as well as the M performance sedan and EX, FX, QX SUV models around the world.

Infiniti goes all the way back to 1985 when Nissan decided to take on the challenge of producing luxury vehicles under a different brand. The project was called “Horizon Task Force” and initially the idea was simple, take Nissan vehicles and make them into luxury vehicles for the US market.

Nissan says it began looking at customer-centric companies such as four seasons hotels to get a look and feel of how it should design its showrooms.

It wasn’t until 1987 when the actual brand came in to existence and sales started in 1989 with 51 Infiniti dealers in the USA. Things progressed steadily but it was Carlos Ghosn who oversaw Infiniti begin a period of unprecedented growth.

Infinit went from being just rebadged Nissans to a seperate unique brand in its own right. Producing only rear-wheel or all-wheel drive vehicles (much like BMW).

By 2003 the brand had sold over 1 million cars. This was helped by its expansion in the middle east (1996) and Taiwan (1997). In 2005 it invaded South Korea followed by Russia the following year. From there China, Ukraine came in 2008 and ever since then it has been fighting hard to gain ground in Western Europe. As it stands today there are over 230 Infinit dealers in 15 different countries.

So what about Australia?

2012 appears to be the year when Infiniti will arrive, this is in part thanks to the determination of Nissan Australia’s CEO whose previous position was with Infiniti in the United States.

The luxury brand faces strong competition from not only Toyota’s luxury arm Lexus, but the Germans as well.

It will be interesting to see if Infiniti works in Australia, because if it does, it may give Honda a reason to bring Acura here as well.




  • JEKYL & HYDE

    waste of time really.nissan do it tough trying to increase their market share with what they have now,let alone another batch of dearer,ugler models…

  • oh no

    that badge looks mighty like the mahindra logo! and a little like the great wall logo.

    So will i be able to buy a maxima for 70K?

  • delux

    If they price it right, it will sell.

  • delux

    Highly doubt Acura will land in Australia. What do they offer that Honda dont?

    Also not the first time Infiniti has graced our shores.

    • Shak

      exactly, in Australia, Honda is a bit like VW. They offer a bit of premium motoring for the dough. Acura wont work here. Infiniti on the other hand should do well here with their innovative tech and quality, not to mention their quirky styling.

    • Bob.

      Totally agree about Acura. Unless they offer something unique that Honda doesnt offer (which Infiniti and Lexus do) that is offer RWD for the bulk of the cars.

    • Arky

      Acura doesn’t make much sense; many models sold as Acuras in the USA have been sold as Hondas here, whereas the Infiniti models have not been sold here as Nissans and there is a definite difference between the Nissan and Infiniti ranges.

  • Bold

    ‘become the largest importer of vehicles to Australia by 2012′

    mission impossible

    • Arky

      Car makers always talk a big game. Somehow I bet their budgets and financial projections don’t say they expect to become the largest importer…

      • dent

        Nissan have a plan called “GT2012″ (Growth and Trust) and the plan is to be the biggest sole importer of cars into Aust by the end of 2012……..mission impossible

        • benny

          obviously you pen pusher dont know what the people of australia wants

  • Shak

    Does anyone else see the cheeky smile on the Sedan in the third pic?

  • Mythfrances

    I like the look of the car in the second picture! a bit like that mazda concept sport car though.

  • Bob.

    Im glad to here this brand is coming to Australia. Hopefully they will have their own range topper based on the Nissan GTR platform in the form of a coupe and sedan (with its own design).

  • D

    That ‘Patrol’ just looks like a melted versions of Nissan’s.

  • Nick K

    Infinity can only work if they significantly offer much lower prices than Lexus. This will allow the brand to grow and eventually move up the price scale as it becomes accepted. Trying to differentiate on quality and design won’t work, others do it just as well, and in the case of design do it better.

    • Bill

      For a luxury brand to differentiate on price alone, will seal its fate. Its positioning will be compromised and true luxury buyers wont take it seriously. It would need to carve out a different niche as opposed to competing with the Germans or Lexus.

  • Buzz

    Not a fan, but hooray for more competition!

    • FREE

      Yes its good having more competion.

      I do wish we could have Seat back in Aus

  • Wayne Kerr

    The more the merrier, I’m quite fond of the Infiniti G37 and M45. Not only that, I’m hoping this will make BMW drop their prices.

    • Chucky

      Keep dreaming. BMW will not drop their prices unless everyone else does and people stop buying their overpriced cars.

      With the new Lexus IS350, the new Volvo S60 T6, and the existing VW Passat R36 & Passat CC 3.6 there is more competition now at reasonable prices to show just how ridiculous BMWs prices are.

  • Aussieitalian

    didnt we already get the Q45 or something back around 1990?
    big stretched maxima looking thing with dinner plate rims?

  • topdog

    About time. The sooner it arrives the better.More choice for sporty rear drive 6s other than dear bmws

  • Kerv

    Finally… some serious competition to break the Japanese luxury car monopoly that Lexus has been enjoying for so many years in Australia. People will finally realise what a true Sports Luxury vehicle is supposed to be.

    • Shak

      Lexus make some fine Luxury, Sports and Luxury Sports vehicles. The LS smashes the luxury set out of the park. The IS-F is a very strong competitor to the M3 or C63. They do deliver, its just that some people will never get over the “rebadged Toyota” stigma.

      • Bob.

        If some people will never get over the “rebadged Toyota stigma”, who is to say these same people wont start calling Infiniti rebadged Nissans. I hope that doesn’t happen

        • Shak

          Well to that i would say, that Infiniti’s look nothing like their Nissan counterparts, whereas Early lexii were very much rebadged toyota’s, and looked exactly the same.

          • Bob.

            Fair call. Can’t disagree with that.

  • Seano

    Why dont the bring the basic skylines here?

  • Eric

    It did not work for Mazda or Nissan before.

    I wonder what they will do differanty this time??

    Eric

    • topdog

      It didnt work last time for nissan because it had only 1 model i think and it was ugly at that. This time around they will have more models and they look good and go good. Hopefuly this will be enough

  • LN

    Its long over due to have them down here.

    Nissan Japan wont allow the Nissan Skylines to be sold to overseas market unless it has been re-badged as the Infiniti G series..

    And yes, the Infiniti range look nothing like the Nissan cars that are sold here in Australia. Certainly far from being a $70k maxima

  • Al Juraj

    I’d rather they get American Nissans like the Altima and Sentra to replace the uncool lineup here first, because bringing a luxury version of a brand that is no longer as popular as before would unlikely be successful.

  • Grant

    They are everywhere in LA and they have the best choice of cars over there. To see the cars in the flesh – especially the interior of that M37 (Fuga) blows everything else away. Apparently they’re the only real competition for BMW on the track. Word will get out and they’ll be envious eyes on them when they actually get here. All the ‘Prestige’ brands make cheap cars these days ‘get with the times.

  • Kerv

    Can’t wait for Infiniti to arrive and shake up a market currently dominated by Lexus (urrghh…)