Infiniti Cars Australia product planning manager Bernard Michel told CarAdvice that car – which shares its underpinnings and vital components with the competing A-Class – will be positioned strongly against its key rivals.
“I think as a new brand in the marketplace, you have to stand for something, right? What’s your point of difference? Where do you see yourself fitting in? Right now, that’s where we’re at – we’re a luxury value brand,” Michel said.
“We try and maximise content in to the car where we can, and try and deliver the best value proposition to the customer, but still upholding the key brand attributes – sports-derived vehicles and cars that drive emotionally as opposed to being a standard, run of the mill car.”
Beyond those two models things are a little foggy, but Michel made it clear that the brand has aspirations to target the mainstream luxury makers in the key market segments.
“We will have, in a very short period of time… products in every critical category in the market. Otherwise, how do we really be considered as a serious player. You’d be a bits and pieces player.”
That means a strong focus on SUVs, and Michel indicated that while the QX70 large SUV (formerly known as the FX) is a key part of that, more high-riding models are required if the brand is serious about making any sort of dent.
By doing the maths, the QX30 is the entry model and the QX70 is the larger SUV, then there’s room for a QX50. Such a model exists overseas, but is nearing the end of its life cycle and isn’t available with suitable engines, according to Michel.
However, he did hint that a replacement will come for that car, though details are currently quite scarce.
“I don’t know what platform they’re deriving it from, but there will be something new in the future,” he said.
How far in the future?
“It’s closer than you’d think – that’s all I can say.”
But Michel remained circumspect about what models the brand needs to sell here.
“I think there are limitations, and obviously when you’re trying to build a product portfolio, you’ve got to be quite selective about where your biggest opportunities are,” he said.
“We don’t shy away from it – you’ve got to keep your dealers profitable, and we want to grow our dealer base here – so we’ll be selective with the products that we pick and choose.
“There’s no point having 15 products if you’re only going to sell five. We’re going to be very selective about what we choose for the Australian market,” Michel said.
Further models expected include a flagship Q80 sedan, possibly by 2017, and the replacements for the Q60 coupe and convertible, which are expected to be revealed in 2015 ahead of a launch the following year.