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China Set to Become Globe’s Top Luxury Car Market

But there could be unexpected obstacles.

by on Mar.06, 2013

Mercedes opened the world's first standalone AMG Performance Center in Beijing.

Demand for luxury vehicles in China will make it the world’s second-largest market for expensive vehicles by 2016, and number one by decade’s end when it will likely surpass the U.S., according to a new study by the consulting firm of McKinsey & Co.

But industry analysts and planners caution that several obstacles could delay or completely short-circuit the boom in automotive demand in China, both on the mainstream and luxury level.

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Sales of premium vehicles will probably equal that of all of Western Europe by 2020, as incomes continue to rise in what is now the world’s second-largest economy, according to McKinsey & Co. China is already the largest automotive market in the world overall.


Infiniti Production Shifting to China

Nissan luxury brand latest to target high-line Chinese market.

by on Apr.23, 2012

Infiniti launched the new M35hL stretch hybrid but is preparing for even more significant changes for China.

Luxury maker Infiniti is planning to begin production of two new models in China in 2014, part of aggressive global growth plans that also include shifting the Nissan Motor Co. division’s headquarters from Japan to Hong Kong.

Infiniti officials said they aren’t worried about an apparent slowdown in the Chinese market during the first quarter of 2012 – nor about the challenges some makers have had delivering world-class quality from Chinese assembly plants.

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“If the quality isn’t there, we won’t launch,” Andy Palmer, the executive vice president who oversees the Infiniti division, said during the first press day at this year’s Beijing Motor Show.

But the maker’s Nissan division has so far had very positive results at its own Chinese operations, which now rival the best in Japan, company officials stressed, giving them confidence they can move ahead with their plans to shift production of at least two Infiniti models to the Middle Kingdom.


Infiniti Setting Up Shop in Hong Kong

Move underscores importance of Chinese luxury car market.

by on Nov.04, 2011

A production version of the Infiniti Etherea concept could be targeted at the Chinese market.

In the wake of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami, last March, a number of automakers have been shifting production out of Japan, but Nissan apparently has another reason why it has decided to relocate the global headquarters of its Infiniti division to Hong Kong.

The move will put the brand’s central office right in the heart of the booming Chinese luxury car market, with other emerging markets, such as India, a short flight away.

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The relocation underscores the increasing importance not only of China to the Japanese maker, but it also shows the growing role of the Infiniti brand, itself.  Infiniti originally focused on the U.S. after its debut, 21 years ago, but is now rapidly reaching out to other markets around the world.