Japanese carmaker Nissan has thrown down the gauntlet to
Germany's premium carmakers, saying its luxury Infiniti mark is poised to make
inroads into their major markets.
According to a report in the German daily newspaper Die Welt, Infiniti plans to take sales away from Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Audi.
"Over the next five to eight years we plan to sell between 500,000 and 600,000 vehicles a year - with a considerably expanded model range compared to the present one," said Infiniti Vice President Fintan Knight.
Two years ago the marque was even more optimistic. It aimed to sell half a million cars globally by 2017.
"We want our name to be mentioned in the same breath as the three leading premium manufacturers in Germany," said Knight.
Infiniti last year sold around 170,000 cars, most of them in the United States, where it rivals Audi. The marque is a rarity on German roads.
Twenty five years after the brand was set up, Infiniti has managed to establish a fairly high profile in the United States, said Knight.
"Now it is all about establishing a global brand." The firm believes that China offers the most growth potential, although Europe is considered important too. Knight said Infiniti was embarking on a long journey.
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