Nissan has made some pretty big investments in the Infiniti brand in the last year. They poached Audi man Johan de Nysschen, are revamping the entire vehicle lineup, and have goals of selling 500,000 cars a year starting in 2017.
But before all that, Nissan nearly shut down Infiniti.
The brand has been around for 24 years yet has never really found a true identity. Nissan places emphasis on volume sales, and that approach wasn't taking well to Infiniti, which is still selling around 200,000 cars each year.
Infiniti hasn't been doing what Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn wanted it to do, so he told Vice President Andy Palmer he could get rid of Infiniti if he wanted:
Very frankly, very candidly, we don't need Infiniti, we just don't need that brand," Palmer tells WardsAuto in an interview at the 2013 North American International Auto Show here. "Mr. Ghosn challenged me and said, ‘We don't have to do Infiniti, you can cancel it if you want.'
Obviously, that didn't happen. Nissan instead hired de Nysschen and decided to change every model to a Q.