Ever since its launch way back in 2008 in Europe, Infiniti from Nissan has not been able to create a niche for itself. However Nissan has set some ambitious targets for Infiniti sales in Europe which is why the company has decided to invest £250m in their Sunderland plant. Nissan is planning to make this investment over the next two years and by 2015, new Infiniti models will start rolling off the factory’s assembly line. The new model that will be released in the European market will be a smaller model and it has been designed specifically keeping the European customers in mind.
Nissan plans to manufacture close to 60,000 Infiniti cars every year. What’s exciting for Britons is that this investment will be creating at least 280 jobs in the factory and close to 700 or so with suppliers. In fact this investment is a strong endorsement of UK’s car industry and its contribution to help strengthen the economy. Before this announcement, Nissan had announced that it would be manufacturing a hatchback at the Sunderland factory, and the company was planning an investment of close to £127m. However this investment will now be moved to some other Nissan factory based out of Europe.
The kind of growth that the auto sector has shown is a testimony to the kind of strategy applied and also the results of the private sector and the government working hand in hand. Once the new Infiniti model rolls out into the market, Nissan is expecting at least a third of the sales to come in from Europe.
One of the key tweaks that the new car would have is its diesel engine, which seems to be much favoured by European drivers. All auto enthusiasts must know that Nissan has historically always manufactured in Japan. So what is it that prompted Nissan to decide to manufacture the new Infiniti outside Japan?
The main reason for this shift is the strong yen. With the yen being strong in the recent years, it has been a challenge for Nissan to make money by selling cars exported from Japan when compared to their rivals who are selling cars in pounds, euros or even dollars. Even if the yen falls and the growth rate in Japan reduces, the demand in growth markets will be intact and this is another reason that prompted the decision to move production to markets such as China, UK and US. Also from the company’s point of view it definitely does makes sense to produce and sell in one currency when it has a manufacturing as well as a supply base set up in a country.