By Norihiko Shirouzu
BEIJING (Reuters) – Nissan Motor Co’s <7201.T> premium brand Infiniti will start producing next year a new crossover sport-utility vehicle in China, its No.2 market after the United States, using existing manufacturing capacity in the northeastern city of Dalian.
The company did not provide more details about the SUV or how much it planned to spend on what would be the third Infiniti vehicle model to be produced in China. But it did say that the new SUV would be produced on the Dalian assembly line with Nissan SUVs X-Trail and QASHQAI.
The plan to manufacture in Dalian reinforces Infiniti’s “commitment to this important market”, Lu Yi, head of Infiniti China, said in the statement seen by Reuters. The automaker is expected to announce the move at a planned press briefing at the Guangzhou auto show later on Friday.
In a bid to ramp up sales in China, Infiniti began producing in 2014 the Q50 sedan and a long wheel-base version of the same car in the Hubei province city of Xiangyang. Both models are being produced at Xiangyang along with Nissan cars, as well.
Infiniti’s China sales through October totaled 37,977 vehicles, up 15 percent from a year ago. Globally, it sold a total of 200,414 vehicles over the period, up 9 percent.
(Reporting By Norihiko Shirouzu in Beijing; Editing by Himani Sarkar)