TOKYO - Although Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. plans historic budget cuts, the company says it will pour resources into the Infiniti channel in the United States.
Nissan COO Carlos Ghosn said Infiniti will be given 'products, products, products' to help it compete at a higher level.
'It will take us two to three years to fill the pipe. It will be three years if it is an all-new product, less than two years if a derivative,' Ghosn said at the Tokyo Motor Show.
Several Nissan executives pointed to the XVL sedan on display at the show as a future Infiniti. Though smaller than the new Infiniti I30 sedan, the XVL is powered by a 3.0-liter V-6 direct-injection engine.
Patrick Pelata, Nissan Motor executive vice president for product planning and strategy, said a Renault product could be badged an Infiniti within two years. Previously, executives had said such sharing would occur only when Renault and Nissan had created a common vehicle platform.
Pelata specifically mentioned the Renault Avantime minivan: 'This product is very interesting for the Infiniti channel.' He hopes to have a decision by next April.
One issue being studied is whether the Avantime is reliable enough to wear the Infiniti badge.
Pelata said Infinitis in general lack power. 'They have the right engines on the shelves. They just didn't put them in place,' he said.
On the positive side, he said the Infinitis have sufficient quality, comfort and silence for the luxury segment, and the dealers are strong.
Infiniti's unsuccessful involvement in the Indy Racing League, meanwhile, could become a target.
Said Ghosn: 'We will get out of all competitions where there is no chance of winning.'