According to one analyst speaking in Detroit this week, the hybrid market will jump from 3.4 percent in 2012 to 4.3 percent in 2013 – and, by the way – Infiniti is making a significant play to be a part of it all.
The automaker was quoted as saying among the 500,000 global sales it’s aiming to ultimately be making – 200,000 from China – it will introduce a hybrid version of every one of its models.
“Every new [Infiniti] car that we bring will have within its lineup a hybrid,” said Nissan Executive Vice President Andy Palmer this week at a media roundtable at the Detroit auto show.
His quote was noted by Cars.com which observed also the possibility of hybridization of every model by Nissan’s luxury brand ought to be more attainable than similar goals stated by Toyota in 2006. Infiniti has but six cars and two already have hybrid variants, these being the Q50 and pending Q70.
As for the big picture, the analyst mentioned above was Jeff Schuster, senior vice president at LMC Automotive, and he added he thought hybrids would grow in U.S> market share to 7.8 percent by 2019.
“I think there’s more buzz and hype over the vehicles right now,” he said.
This hybrid market growth following the buzz and hype, Shuster said, would outpace all-electric and plug-in hybrids, and indeed, Infiniti said it expected to sell a mere 25,000 copies globally of its pending all-electric Concept LE. The Concept LE is known to be based on the Nissan Leaf’s powertrain, and unknown is what upgrades Nissan will give its power supply to compete with the likes of Tesla’s Model S, and other upscale plug-in cars.
Does Palmer’s conservative statement for Concept LE prospects and the overall outlook for plug-in cars by Shuster fly in the face of the most bullish CEO on EVs there is, Nissan’s own Carlos Ghosn? The outspoken champion of the Leaf has mentioned the Concept LE as part of the plan to take 10-percent market share and has also repeatedly projected a 10 percent market share for all-electric vehicles by 2020.
It would appear maybe so, and you are free to read between the lines of what the implications are with Nissan’s upscale brand doing the very opposite of saber rattling regarding its pending EV.
But no doubt the company has many more plans, and we always take projections with a large dose of salt anyway. There are many variables to be considered and a twist and turn in the road to electrification is always possible.