Infiniti starts local production in China today in Xiangyang, Hubei Province, as the first Infiniti Q50L officially rolls off the assembly line. The long-wheelbase version of the Q50 premium sports sedan is Infiniti’s first localized model in China dedicated to Chinese consumers. The start of local production signifies an important milestone for Infiniti to become a mainstream player in the Chinese premium automotive market.
“Today we are here to witness Infiniti’s big step forward in China. We continue to expand our business in China and develop Infiniti as a truly global premium brand,” says Dr. Daniel Kirchert, president of Dongfeng Infiniti Motor Co., Ltd and managing director of Infiniti China. “Local production demonstrates Infiniti’s long-term commitment to the Chinese market. We will bring Infiniti’s renowned global quality standards and its premium experience even closer to Chinese consumers.”
With commencement of Infiniti local production at the Dongfeng Nissan Xiangyang Plant, China has become the third country for Infiniti’s global manufacturing footprint in addition to Japan and the U.S. It marks the next step in Infiniti’s global growth plan to expand the brand’s portfolio while establishing a broader global manufacturing footprint. It also underlines its determination to turn China into Infiniti’s second volume hub globally.
The Xiangyang plant is a manufacturing complex jointly established by Dongfeng Motor Corp. and Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. The plant boasts an annual production capacity of 250,000 vehicles, 60,000 of which are dedicated for Infiniti production. The plant has many years of manufacturing experience and has undergone substantial upgrades to meet Infiniti’s local production requirements. The Xiangyang Plant applies Infiniti’s global manufacturing standards and received Infiniti manufacturing certification in March, 2014.
The Infiniti Q50L has a stretched overall length of 4852mm/191.0in and stretched wheelbase of 2898mm/114.1in, adding nicely to the rear passengers’ sense of premium comfort with the biggest legroom in this segment. The locally produced Infiniti Q50L is equipped with the same level of high-tech features as in the imported standard-wheelbase Q50, including some of Infiniti’s most innovative technologies, such as the world’s first steer-by-wire Direct Adaptive Steering (DAS). Powered by a 2.0 liter turbo-charged engine, Q50L strikes a perfect balance between power performance and fuel economy.
In addition to the Infiniti Q50L, Infiniti will also soon start producing the localized QX50 long wheelbase version at the Xiangyang Plant. Both vehicles are tailored for the Chinese market, expanding Infiniti’s product portfolio for the Chinese consumers.
China is one of Infiniti’s most important growth markets. Earlier in September, the joint venture Dongfeng Infiniti Motor Co., Ltd. was established with local partner Dongfeng Motor Corp. to jointly expand in China’s premium car market. The brand aims to raise sales in China to 100,000 vehicles by 2018, over half of which will be locally produced models. In the first three quarters of 2014, Infiniti has been the fastest growing premium auto brand in China as its sales increased by 91% year-on-year to nearly 20,800 vehicles.