Nissan will introduce the Infiniti brand in Germany, the UK and Russia in 2008.
The Japanese automaker's luxury brand will have three products at introduction: the FX45 SUV, a coupe derived from the G35 currently sold in the US and an unspecified sedan, said Pierre Loing, general manager, product strategy and planning for Nissan Europe.
Germany and the UK are not necessarily tied to Russia on timing, a Nissan Europe spokesman said.
Nissan will launch the Infiniti brand elsewhere in Europe after Germany, the UK and Russia, but has not determined the schedule, said Mario Canavesi, Nissan Europe vice president of sales and marketing.
"We are still doing market research on Europe, but we know these markets will be first," he said.
Infiniti won't schedule its launch in the rest of Europe until it is sure it has a diesel engine available.
The move into Europe is part of Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn's push to turn Infiniti into a global luxury brand. Infiniti has been a US-only brand since its 1989 introduction there, but Infiniti will be launched in May 2005 in Korea.
Between then and 2008, Nissan also plans to add Infiniti in Japan, China and the Middle East.
Infiniti is a strong earner for Nissan. In the 12 months ending March 31, Infiniti was 4 percent of global unit sales, but 8 percent of revenue and 12 percent of operating profits of E6.3 billion. In 2003, Infiniti sold 127,798 vehicles in North America.
To bolster Nissan's European image before Infiniti is launched, Nissan will add a performance coupe called the GT-R in 2007, said Stephane Schwarz, design director for Nissan's London design studio.
Based on the next-generation Skyline and offered with up to 400hp, the GT-R will retail for about E70,000. Loing said European sales would be limited to 200 a year.
– Yuzo Yamaguchi and Sylviane de Saint-Seine contributed