Infiniti Boss Puts Electric LE Sedan on Indefinite Hold; Cites Product Priorities as Reason for Delay

4 years ago by Eric Loveday 5

Infiniti LE Concept to Remain Just a Concept For Now

Infiniti LE Concept to Remain Just a Concept For Now

I'm on Hold...Sorry

I’m on Hold…Sorry

Infiniti boss Johan de Nysschen has been assigned a goal that doesn’t bode well for the electric Infiniti LE.

This goal, assigned by Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn is to boost Infiniti sales from today’s annual volume of 170,000 units to 500,000 by the fiscal year ending March 31, 2017.

de Nysschen doesn’t believe that goal is attainable and, as he says, it’s certainly not reachable if Infiniti focuses on launching the electric LE.

“I’m under absolutely no illusion – 500,000 cars by 2017 is an inordinately ambitious challenge.  We really do have to get our heads around how we can bring the brand in that direction.”

The solution? Put the LE on hold indefinitely.  Quoting de Nysschen:

“There will be an Infiniti EV. The question is one of timing.  We have a whole host of product priorities. We have to make very substantial investments now, and it’s important that we expand our volume footprint quite quickly.  There has been no formal decision yet within the company to give the project the green light and let them start with investment.  In my evaluation of our business strategy, I introduced a whole bunch of additional considerations.”

Will I be Forever Confined by These de Nysschen Walls

Will I be Forever Confined by These de Nysschen Walls

This might not sit well with CEO and electric vehicle champion Ghosn, but he’s the man behind that 500,000-unit goal, so it looks like he’ll have to live with de Nysschen’s decision to delay the electric LE.

Infiniti first revealed the LE Concept at the 2012 New York Auto Show.  Later that year, Infiniti announced that a production version of the LE would arrive at some point in 2014.

Well, we can scratch that now as it’s on indefinite hold, unless CEO Ghosn uses his magical powers to override (not likely to happen) de Nysschen’s decision.

For de Nysschen, the decision to delay the Infiniti LE was easy.   It was “quite an easy decision” says Infiniti’s boss man.  The head honcho further added that “We had so many priorities” and that the electric Infiniti “was one where I said, ‘Look, I need a little more time.

More time it is then.  How long will the LE be delayed?  Well, we’ll leave you with this last quote from de Nysschen that may help pinpoint a new timeframe for its arrival:

“It would not be so smart to introduce a car when perhaps 12 or 18 months down the road you have all-new battery technology.”

Source: Automotive News

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5 responses to "Infiniti Boss Puts Electric LE Sedan on Indefinite Hold; Cites Product Priorities as Reason for Delay"

  1. zilm says:

    You should add that before Johan De Nysschen becomes Infiniti boss he worked in audi for 20 years and left it a year ago. So puzzle become solved.

  2. Brian says:

    Is there something else suggested in that last quote? If they had planned on a 2014 release, but 12-18 months later, they’re expecting a new battery? Wouldn’t that put the new battery around mid 2016? I wonder if that’s blind hope, or based on some inside knowledge…

  3. Josh says:

    The battery quote makes it sound like they have completely changed plans with the new battery chemistry that was supposed to be released in 2014 with the LE. That means no new battery for the LEAF either. My guess is redesign for active thermal management…

    1. Brian says:

      I hadn’t considered active thermal management, that’s a good point. Maybe there’s more than meets the eye in this decision….

  4. vdiv says:

    De Nysschen may have not just put the LE on indefinite hold, he may have put all of Infiniti on an indefinite hold. It is hard to find a compelling reason to buy an Infiniti model these days and without a plugin electric, no reason at all for the ever growing group of ours 🙂

    So instead of an Infiniti LE, how about a Nissan Maxima E with a 48 kWh battery and 160 mile range at half the price of a Tesla Model S?