Infiniti Australia expects the just unveiled Q30 crossover to become its best-selling model when it goes on sale locally in the second quarter of 2016.
The Infiniti Q30 - which will be built in the UK - is powered by either a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol (155kW/350Nm) or a 2.2-litre Mercedes-Benz sourced turbo-diesel engine (125kW/350Nm), both of which will be available in Australia.
Euro versions come with either a six-speed manual or a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.
From January to August, Infiniti Australia has sold 358 cars, a 27.9 percent growth on the same period in 2014. The introduction of the Q30 should see those numbers increase noticeably.
Speaking to CarAdvice at the unveiling of the Q30 in Frankfurt tonight, the company’s managing director, Jean-Philippe Roux, confirmed the Q30's importance.
“We will assume that it will be our best-selling model. We think it's going to be good to us and good for our volumes as well, we are currently working on a plan because the prelaunch of that vehicle is going to be really important to us,” Roux said.
“The relevance for Q30 for us is… it's coming to the market on what is a very strongly growing segment, which is small SUVs, specifically small premium SUVs, SUVs about $40k.
We can see that there's good potential for us in that market," he said, though the incoming QX30 seems a more obvious fit.
But despite its potential to increase volumes, Roux downplayed the model’s ultimate potential.
“It’s not a game changer, not a silver bullet. [But it’s] opening up new possibilities for us in terms of giving more volume to our network, opening up new market and obviously getting more traction through fleet and private customers. It is going to change also, Infiniti’s perception and brand awareness.”
Infiniti’s biggest hurdle remains its ability to convince customers that it's on par or close to its German luxury competitors. A problem hindered by the brand’s limited brand awareness.
“So the main challenge for us next year is to drive brand awareness and traffic to our showroom. That goes through a strong yet targeted marketing plan in trying to make sure we talk to the right customers and prospects.”
The Q30 will be joined by the more rugged QX30 and the new Q60 towards the end of 2016.