Nissan & Infiniti De-Emphasive Production Possibilities For Bold, Cutting-Edge Electric Car Concepts

3 years ago by Eric Loveday 24

Carlos Ghosn introducing The Nissan BladeGlider at Tokyo Motor Show

Carlos Ghosn introducing The Nissan BladeGlider at Tokyo Motor Show

Nissan BladeGlider

Nissan BladeGlider

There seems to be a change of direction at Nissan-Infiniti.

Gone are the flashy concepts at the auto shows.

Instead, we’re seeing more and more production-intent products from Nissan-Infiniti, says Automotive News.

This wouldn’t matter much to us here at InsideEVs were it not for the fact that some of those flashy concepts were plug-in cars.

Here’s Automotive News’ take on the situation:

Nissan and its luxury Infiniti sibling have mellowed in their message of cutting-edge future products as 2015 begins.

The change in tone signals a desire to focus more intently, at least for now, on tried-and-true volume products as Nissan and Infiniti appeal for more global market share.

That apparently means Nissan is de-emphasizing the Nissan IDx concept — a proposed car that recalled the Datsun 510 — and the tradition-defying electric BladeGlider concept. Infiniti’s Formula One-influenced, limited-volume Q50 Eau Rouge concept was also off the table.

Much of these changes started to take place as lead electric car enthusiast Andy Palmer exited:

Two executives who have left the automaker were staunch advocates for the vehicles. In 2014, Andy Palmer, then global product planning chief, said flatly that the arrow-shaped BladeGlider would be manufactured for U.S. retail showrooms, and that it was in the automaker’s business plan.

Our only concern is that it seems like Nissan-Infiniti are stepping ever-so slightly backwards from their bold electric car plans.  Let’s hope this doesn’t signal a lasting change in direction.

Source: Automotive News

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24 responses to "Nissan & Infiniti De-Emphasive Production Possibilities For Bold, Cutting-Edge Electric Car Concepts"

  1. Anon says:

    Troubling development. 🙁

    Still waiting for them to do something with their Esflow electric sportscar…

    http://www.nissanusa.com/future-and-concept-vehicles/esflow

    1. Rick Danger says:

      OMFG yes, somebody hide my checkbook!

    2. owd200 says:

      OMG. Nissan build this! Why will nobody but Tesla build a sexy electric car!?

    3. Josh says:

      Sorry guys, that car is old news. It is never getting built. Was killed by Johan de Nysschen before he took off for Cadillac.

      1. Anon says:

        So terribly sad. *sighs*

        But he and GM deserve each other, IMHO…

  2. Robb Stark says:

    It seems the Infiniti LE BEV is becoming less and less a possibility.

    But that the double range LEAF is becoming more and more concrete.

    That is more important. The reality is the Infiniti LE would likely have been a super low volume car squeezed between the LEAF and Tesla.

    1. Sublime says:

      Nissan doesn’t need an ELR. BMW did it right with the i3 and i8 and the amount separation between the two. If Nissan did a BEV Infiniti, it needs to be spec’d to compete with Tesla.

      1. Jay Cole says:

        Just as a random point, we shouldn’t be worried about the Infiniti LE (BEV) becoming a reality at this point I don’t think, as it is on Nissan’s production schedule for Q4 next year. It would be a fairly large/costly decision at this point to not make it.

        Personally, I never cared much for the concepts look, so if they have changed that up a little (which is pretty much all they could do at this late stage), that would be A-OK with me.

        1. Josh says:

          I am with you on the looks. The G37/Q50 look much better. Hope they can clean it up before the release.

  3. jos says:

    Not hearing anything from Nissan for a while made me wonder. I suspected that maybe they were Quietly Working Away at some ground Breaking EV, or Ev technology…This is a “BAD MOVE” Because they can Do Both…. I think they are Missing the boat. EV’s Are the Future..

  4. PVH says:

    I think this is good news. Affordable EV’s for the masses is what we need. Market for high performances EV’s is small and yet to show that it can be profitable. As CEO of the Renault-Nissan alliance, Gohsn reported not long ago a significant profit for 2014 for Renault. It is quite astonishing taking into account the depressed European car market. How did Renault achieve this ? By selling many many affordable cars. The guy knows what he is doing (and without hype).

  5. kdawg says:

    Honestly, I didn’t care much for the car that looked like a Norelco razor. It’s really the drive train that is important. I’d like to see a 200+ mile BEV from Nissan along with a PHEV with a decent sized battery.

    1. Josh says:

      Agreed

      But Like Anon said above, Nissan really blew it by not building the Esflow. It would have been out in front of the i8 for the next generation of sports car.

    2. Forever green says:

      +1

  6. CDAVIS says:

    Good; that’s another clear indicator that Nissan is taking the development and production of electric cars serious.

    Electrification of automobiles will shift the consumer perception of cars from a static consumer product (with consumer expectation of long update cycles) to a computer appliance on wheels (with consumer expectation of short update cycles). Therefore, finite development capital and finite marketing bandwidth are best spent on production intent concepts.

  7. Lou Grinzo says:

    I want to see as many of our personal vehicle miles fueled by electricity as possible. Therefore I don’t care about an Infiniti LE (likely very small volume) or the BMW X5 PHEV (13 mile AER, and how diligent will people who buy that model be when it comes to plugging it in?).

    But the Bolt, a double range Leaf, whatever the heck Ford is planning for their own 200-mile EV, a Fit EV (assuming Honda gets its head out of its tailpipe and does the obvious thing), etc. are all VERY interesting. I wish they’d all get here a lot sooner, of course, but that’s another issue.

    Major technological revolutions never proceed smoothly, except in the faulty memories of people who should know better. Look at the early days of the PC, when there was an explosion of PC clones and some wildly different approaches, many from companies that didn’t survive. I don’t expect EVs to be that tumultuous, but it’s going to be dull, either.

  8. Kalle says:

    NOOO! NISAN! GIVE ME MY BLADE GLIDER!!

  9. Jeff Songster says:

    I am sad if what this represents is a de-emphasis on EVs… but if instead it is a reemphasis on practical, useful, valuable cars like my LEAF… then ok. Bring us the e-NV200 and how about using the idx concept as a 2 door electric update of the 510. I never saw myself buying a BladeGlider as much as I liked the look of it.
    I agree about the Infinity model needing to compete in the near Tesla capabilities to be a worthy idea. Especially since LEAF SL is luxurious enough for me.

  10. The BladeGlider never made sense as anything other than a marketing geegaw.

    Glad to see Nissan shuck off the distraction and focus on developing cars that solve real and urgent problems and can be sold globally.

    The BladeGlider was never going to solve China, India or Brazil’s “Dome” problems, or frankly Los Angeles’.

    Less toys. More tools.

    1. Dr. Miguelito Loveless says:

      True, but the BladeGlider had a serious Batmobile vibe going there, and could have captured the public’s imagination the way the PT Cruiser did back in the day (but way cooler).

      A shame, but if it gets me a 150+ mile Leaf, I’m hip.

  11. Lad says:

    Nissan could produce a low-cost EV in the same segment as their Versa were it not for the range limitations and high costs of their traction battery. Solve the battery problems, the cost of the car comes down and EVs take off.

  12. Just_chris says:

    How about making the whole family available globally? Zoe, twizy, leaf vans, the saloon and leaf. Nissan badged were nissan is strong r badged where r is strong. Why not put some of the features in both, a Zoe could do with a chademo and a leaf could do with an ac fast charger. A price cut here at there and we are set 4 the 200 mile leaf in a few years. How’s that for a concept?

  13. Randy says:

    So I guess we are stuck with the leaf for awhile longer.

  14. DNAinaGoodWay says:

    Doesn’t matter. Once the Model 3 arrives, with no dealer hassles, access to 120 kW superchargers and a $400 CHAdeMO adapter, who’ll want a Nissan, or anything else?