07 March 2008

To Infiniti… and beyond?

Nissan is about to launch its premium brand in Europe

Nissan EX37

The Geneva Motor Show was a D-Day of sorts for Infiniti. Nissan's premium outfit launched in Europe off the back of a rather big party in the Swiss car capital, with lots of booze, back-slapping and more than a few cars.

This is an unusual tactic for a manufacturer, since the 3-Series rivalling G37 Coupe that we saw at Detroit will be joined by at least three other models. Straight away.

Normally you'd expect some sort of drip feed, giving sceptical European markets the chance to absorb the whole concept of a posh Nissan. But no: Infiniti is hitting us with the full force of its fleet, including the obligatory coupe-crossover, G37 saloon and a compact SUV.

The EX37 is a sleeker, faster X3; the FX-50 a sleeker, faster X5. The QX, meanwhile, is a vast, dog-ugly kick in the balls of a thing that'll we're all hoping won't make it this far.

With the might and money of Nissan behind it, Infiniti has the potential to be phenomenally successful, but it's going to need a decent dealer network, something it's lacking at the mo, and some diesels pretty sharpish.

It's going to be an interesting few months.

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