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Infiniti moves Global HQ to Hong Kong

May. 23, 2012 (China Knowledge) - Nissan Motor Co, Japan's No. 2 automaker by volume after Toyota Motor Corp, yesterday set up its global headquarters for its high-end luxury brand, Infiniti, in Hong Kong, the first time the city is selected for headquarters of a vehicle manufacturer.

Nissan expects to increase its market share in China's luxury car segment to 10% from current 3%, and also aims to have a 50% increase for imported Infiniti car sales this year.

The automaker, which owns a 50-50 joint venture with Dongfeng Motor Group Co Ltd<0489> in China, will finalize its plans to produce Infiniti vehicles in China this year, with two new models being produced in the country commencing 2014.

The Infiniti models are principally manufactured in Tochigi and Fukuoka, Japan said a person familiar with the matter. Already second largest market for the brand, China will be home to a global expansion that includes Tennessee production of the JX crossover and, from 2014, and European-built Infiniti cars.

To pursue a 10% market share for its luxurious brand Infiniti, it has to go from 150,000 cars to 500,000 within the next four to five years, and to achieve this it will be very difficult to build all those cars in Japan, according to Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn.

Ghosn said the company remains optimistic about China's passenger car market, especially in the high-end luxury sector. He also emphasizes the importance of Hong Kong as the door to China, and further added that Hong Kong is also a place where it can easily connect with the Southeast Asia.

Reported in Nissan’s FY 2011, ending March 31, 2012, China became its largest market with 1,247,00 units sold, rose 21.9%, follows by the United States with 1.080,000 units, up 11.8%.

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