Q50 2.0T world debut, brand redefinition, channel expansion drives optimistic estimates
Infiniti China is expecting a more than 50 percent annual growth in sales volume in the Chinese market this year, with sales volume surging 32 percent year-on-year in the first 10 months. That was, preceded by continuous growth for eight consecutive months.
The company realized a sales volume of 12,831 units in the first 10 months, and sold more JX models in the past three months than in the first seven months of this year.
"We also have an optimistic prospect in next year, as the latest model Q50, a pillar product, will be available on the market in April next year," said Daniel Kirchert, managing director of Infiniti China, on Wednesday in an interview at the 2013 Auto Guangzhou auto show.
Q50 2.0T world debut
The Infiniti Q50 2.0T, the brand's first turbo model, made its world debut on Wednesday at the auto show. Chinese customers will be the first to experience the Infiniti's newest sedan with its all-new powertrain.
The latest model equipped a breakthrough four-cylinder, 2.0-liter turbocharged powertrain jointly developed with Daimler AG, and Infiniti tuned the engine to fit the Q50 driving style. It may make the Q50 models more competitive among the luxury sporty cars, and offer customers an appealing alternative.
The 2.0T powertrain strictly meets the Europe V emission standard while reducing fuel consumption. It has a maximum power of 155kW and 350 Nm peak torque. The torque peaks 350 Nm at a rotating speed from as low as 1,250 revolutions per minute to 3,500 rpm, so as to ensure the re-acceleration ability. The engine utilizes the latest direct fuel injection technology, with Piezo injector to further boost the combustion efficiency. It enables the power output at a significantly lower fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emission.
The other two alternative powertrains for Chinese Q50 customers to choose are the 3.7-liter engine and the VQ35 HEV hybrid engine, which is believed to have the fastest acceleration among the hybrid engines in the world, and the lowest fuel consumption.
Infiniti Q50 carries NASA's ground-breaking Direct Adaptive Steering technology, which calculates the wheels' turning angles and speeds in the ECU in accordance with the driver's steering strength and road conditions.
"It is the first time NASA's DAS technology was applied in a mass product," said Liu Xu, general manager of Infiniti China Marketing and PR at the news conference.
An earlier report cited Infiniti US Vice President Michael Bartsch saying that in the future, the DAS would be found in every car. But at present, Infiniti is the only one equipping it. The DAS and Q50 signify the future of driving -- more precisely, more swiftly, and easier to control.
The leading technologies in Q50, the first all-new model since the Q model was introduced, also include the "world's fastest acceleration" hybrid powertrain, a front collision forecasting warning system, and 1.2 GPa high strength steel.
To become a major player
Kircher said "Infiniti's future development is to break the current market structure, and become a major player among the mainstream premium car brands. The key to achieve this goal is to forge the most emotional brand image."
Infiniti is targeting those premium customers with a younger attitude. The company has been constantly investing in product innovation, brand building and customer experience. Infiniti China is set to hold a large-scale brand experience event in January.
The year 2013 has a particular significance for Infiniti. Infiniti is in an exciting and completely new stage this year, and will aggressively make breakthroughs, according to Kircher.
Infiniti China is to locally produce the Q50 L and QX50 L next year and expand the sales network to 80 in China. "Chinese luxury car market structure is not in an entirely consolidated situation, we see opportunities," said Kircher, and he believes "To give a distinctive emotional experience makes Infiniti the luxury brand with the highest emotional attachment."