Compared with the hesitation and indecisiveness of Lexus on domestic issues, Infiniti appears to be a lot less. This brand of luxury car in China, which is a relatively niche, has entered the Chinese market as early as 2006, but its brand, product design, and market expansion efforts are not too many. In 2010, Infiniti sold only 11,000 vehicles in China. It was because of last year's "Chang An Street Massacre" that it really entered the eyes of the general public in China.
However, the huge potential and development space of the Chinese luxury car market still made Nissan see hope. In the first nine months of this year, the average growth rate of the luxury car market reached 40%, and Infinitiâ€™s increase rate was closer to 100%, and it is expected to reach 20,000 vehicles this year. Last year, despite a small amount, the increase was as high as 137.3%. The Chinese market also became Infinitiâ€™s second largest market in the world. With such a rapid rate of growth, Nissan sees the possibility of further expansion.
When is mystery made?
On November 1, Nissan announced that it will establish the global headquarters of Infiniti, its luxury car brand, in Hong Kong, China. The headquarters will be officially launched in April next year. â€œInfinitiâ€™s future development strategy will depend on the growing demand for luxury cars in the China, India and Southeast Asia markets, while Hong Kong will be able to better leverage its regional strengths.â€ Nissan said that the new global headquarters will promote the implementation of the Nissan 6-year medium-term plan. "Nissan Power 88" targets Infiniti's global sales of 500,000 vehicles in 2016.
"Nissan is considering producing Infiniti in China, but no decision has yet been made." Nissan spokesman Nagai Nagai said so when answering whether the relocation of the headquarters is to prepare for domestic production in China. His words were quickly interpreted by the outside world as news that Infiniti will be made in China. The following day, Japanâ€™s â€œNikkei Shimbunâ€ reported that â€œNissan will begin manufacturing Infiniti cars in China next year, becoming the first Japanese car manufacturer to produce luxury cars in China. Nissan is considering the joint venture partner Dongfeng Motor in Hubei. A factory in the province is a candidate for production of Infiniti.â€
A stone provokes a thousand waves. For a time, "Infiniti will domestically made" the news headlines of the major network media. On November 2, Infiniti China urgently responded: â€œThe Nikkei Shimbun reported on the production of Infiniti in China on November 2. Some media have reproduced and speculated that this report is not based on facts. In order to continuously improve Infinitiâ€™s market share and become an important luxury car brand in the world, Nissan has been continuously studying the feasibility of producing Infiniti models in China, based on shortening the supply chain, strengthening regional correlation of products, and avoiding foreign exchange transaction pressure. For other reasons, Infiniti has always been inclined to be able to produce vehicles in the sales area, but it has not yet made any decision on producing Infiniti in China."
Even the official statement is so "deaf", it is enough to prove that domestically produced is a matter of fact. Today, Nissan chose to establish Infinitiâ€™s global headquarters in Hong Kong, China, strongly releasing the signal that Nissan will produce domestic Infiniti.
Fuyang or Dalian?
Site selection is the most important part of a brand's decision to localize production. According to outside speculation, Lexus has not announced a major reason for domestic delay, but also because it can not balance the two joint venture partners FAW Toyota and GAC Toyota, regardless of where the final decision on where to produce, or will cause a smoke-filled battle. For Nissan, there is no need to face such a painful choice.
Although only Dongfeng has a joint venture partner, the site selection of the plant still affects many interests. Currently, Dongfeng Nissan has production bases in Huadu, Guangzhou, Fuyang, Hubei, and Zhengzhou, Henan. Since 2009, Nissan has begun to consider whether Infiniti will make it to Guangzhou or Shenyang. The governments of the two places are also looking forward to this project.
According to media reports, in Dongfeng Nissan, a visit to Infinitiâ€™s home-grown land has begun under way in secret. "Just three months ago, Ren Yong personally led a team to inspect Dalian and made in-depth contact with the Dalian municipal government regarding Infiniti's domestic production."
Industry analysis, although Dalian is very close to Japan, suitable for early CKD assembly. However, in the long run, Dongfengâ€™s stronghold is still in Hubei. Dalian is not the most suitable choice in terms of support, logistics, or government support. According to reports, on August 11th, a member of the Standing Committee of Hubei Provincial Party Committee and Secretary of the Fuyang Municipal Party Committee Fan Ruiping made a special trip to Wuhan and met with senior managers such as Zhu Fushou, general manager of Dongfeng Motor. He also hoped that Dongfeng would put the production base of â€œInfinitiâ€ in Xiangyang.
"In the official news report, Infiniti has become Dongfeng's 'high-end brand', Dongfeng and Nissan can imagine the depth of domestic negotiations on Infiniti." Insiders believe that Dongfeng has raised Infiniti's domestic production to the future. The strategic height of development. â€œDongfeng Nissan's production line in Liyang is the production line of D, and some time ago, Xiangyang Factory has already confirmed that it will produce high-end cars in the next year. Therefore, the domestically-established Infiniti is the most likely to settle down in Fuyang.â€
M series is the first domestically produced product?
If the location is related to the development of a new factory, which model to choose to take the lead in domestic production may have a bearing on the success or failure of a brand. In the Chinese market, there are many bloody examples. The most typical example is Chang An Ford's lock-down of the first car models, making the Ford brand unacceptable to Chinese consumers for a long time. The road to turn over is long and winding.
For Infiniti, the choice of the first domestically-made model also requires caution. â€œIn the Infiniti's current car lineup, the mid-level SUV FX is the most popular main product, while the people who play the car prefer the G-series. But at present, our main product is the Infiniti M-series. Its audience is The elite of the times, the choice of the car is to meet their driving needs, but also to use for business purposes. This market segment is very large, accounting for about 40% of the total car market.â€ Infiniti China General Manager Lu Zhengyu told reporters At present, the M department accounts for about 15% of Infinitiâ€™s total sales in China, which is not in line with the overall market share.
It is reported that China is currently selling the M series M25 and M37 models, respectively equipped with 2.5L and 3.7L V6 naturally aspirated engines, matching 7-speed tiptronic transmission, priced at 498,000 to 658,000 yuan. â€œInfiniti is a brand new modern luxury brand, positioning the crowd is also young and passionate people. They are tired of traditional brands and traditional products, and are more willing to try new brands and new things. From this point of view, the most direct The competitor is BMW.â€ Insiders analyzed that rivals of the Infiniti M-series locked the luxury business-class cars such as the BMW 5 Series. This market is very popular in China. The BMW 5 Series has been in short supply, and the waiting time is longer. More than six months. The market's boom has made Infiniti see hope, which is also a major reason to support the M-series as a domestic choice.
On the other hand, the best-selling FX cars currently sell for more than 700,000 yuan. In contrast, the M-series is also more popular in terms of price, and it is more likely to form an increment. "Since we entered China in 2003, every year our predictions are wrong." Carlos Ghosn has said publicly recently that many people think that the Chinese auto market is slowing, "but I did not expect that even if Beijing implemented a shake, The passenger car market is still up 9.5%."
In this case, Infiniti decided to adopt a more "radical" localization strategy. In addition to achieving domestic production, Infiniti plans to increase its sales network in China to more than 150 in five years. Among them, the dealer network will increase to 50 in 2011. Whether Infiniti will replicate the rampage of Dongfeng Nissan in the Chinese market, we will wait and see. At the same time, what to wait and see, when Infiniti's "Force Palace", the Japanese luxury car's "boss" Lexus announced when made in China news.
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