Nissan Has Big Plans For Luxury Electric Infiniti LE, Will Not Be A Niche Product
While electric vehicles like the Nissan LEAF, Chevrolet Volt, and Ford C-Max Energi are all fine examples of what a plug-in car can do. Many consumers have been anxiety waiting to buy a more performance/luxury oriented EV from a major auto maker.
The two most popular options, both coming at the end of 2013, are the extended range Cadillac ELR, and the all-electric Infiniti LE.
Recently, the much-anticipated ELR made its official debut at the 2013 NAIAS. And while the production version of the Caddy was as visually pleasing as the concept (which rarely happens), GM let us down a little on production and pricing.
GM told shoppers to “get in fast and buy it. We’re only going to make so many, and for so long,” and that it would be priced “certainly not in the realm of your conventional car.” Estimates now peg the car to start in the mid-60s.
So what of Infiniti and the LE?
Nissan has big plans for the Infiniti brand, and its electric show car, which enters production at Nissan’s Smyrna, TN plant at the end of this year.
By the end of 2016, the company expects to increase overall sales of Infiniti to 500,000, with 40% of those sales coming in China.
And while the LE is not going to be a huge contributor to that figure, Andy Palmer, executive vice-president of Nissan, confirms that the LE will not onlystill be in production 4 years from now, but that Nissan projects to be selling 25,000 copies a year.
As a point of reference, 25,000 luxury LEs per year is 1,500 more plug-ins than any anyone else has sold in a year to date in the US. (Chevy sold 23,461 Volts in the US in 2012)
“It (the Infiniti LE) is not going to be a big contributor in terms of total volume, orders in a magnitude of about 25,000 units, but its part of the halo of the (Infiniti) portfolio.”