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Nissan aims to triple China sales

Beijing

NISSAN Motor Co's premium brand Infiniti plans to at least triple sales in China within the next five years by making four additional car models locally and shifting to more of an electrified offering - a fast-emerging market in China.

That means Infiniti will aim to boost sales in the world's biggest car market to roughly 150,000 vehicles a year, up from 48,000 last year, the brand's global chief Roland Krueger said in an interview in Beijing.

China's premium car market, which Mr Krueger said generated about 2.5 million vehicle sales last year, is growing fast but accounts for less than 10 per cent of the country's overall auto market. Premium cars account for about 12 per cent of the US overall market, and 30 per cent in Germany, Mr Krueger said.

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Combine that with a "dynamic and fast" development of the so-called new-energy vehicle, or green-car market, in China and "there is a huge growth potential in China for us", he said.

Mr Krueger said that from 2021 every Infiniti model launched will be either an all-electric car or so-called "e-Power" hybrids, underlining Nissan's previously announced plan to make Infiniti primarily an electrified offering. More than half of Infiniti's global sales will be electric vehicles by 2025, he said.

Sales of new-energy passenger vehicles, excluding electric commercial vehicles in China, totalled 460,000 to 470,000 vehicles last year, according to Infiniti. "Growth is phenomenal, and we might see a million electric cars sold this year. Almost doubling sales," Mr Krueger said.

Within the next five years, Infiniti will be producing six models locally in China. In addition to the QX50 sport-utility vehicle, Infiniti has been producing the Q50-L, a long-wheelbase version of the Q50, in China since 2014. REUTERS

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