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