Nissan Plans Hybrid Future for its Infiniti Brand
Nissan plans to infuse hybrid technology into their uplevel product line, Infiniti. The idea is to utilize the same strategy Toyota took with their luxury Lexus division. It will allow Infiniti to continue producing high-performance premium automobiles while reducing emissions and increasing fuel economy in comparison to their gas-powered counterparts. Nissan Engineers are still currently developing their in-house system and estimate that it will be ready for implementation around 2010, at which time it will debut in the Infiniti brand.
Ultimately, the endeavor could restructure Nissan’s economic calculations regarding hybrids. Carlos Ghosn, Nissan’s chief executive officer, has only recently become convinced that hybrid gas-electric vehicles would ever make economic sense. Ghosn told Automotive News, "I don’t think I was against it. Hybrids are very promising."
Nissan currently sells a hybrid model, the Altima Hybrid, but that vehicle was developed by licensing Toyota’s gas-electric technology. Nissan could presumably recoup much of the costs of its own hybrid technology by applying it to more than one platform. Nissan also plans to be selling pure-electric cars by the end of the decade, according to Carlos Tavares, vice president for global product planning.