Infiniti: Our Golf rival needs to thrill

Time 8 years ago

72737infINFINITI’s new VW Golf rivalling C Segment car needs to offer premium buyers a completely different alternative to the status quo and thrill them into a purchase.

That’s the opinion of the brand’s creative design manager Hirohisa Ono who chatted to us exclusively about his hopes for the British-built front wheel drive car.

Set to become the brand’s biggest volume model, Ono San believes many premium car buyers are fed up with the current offerings from the likes of BMW and Audi and that the time is right for a premium challenger in this segment.

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‘It is all about design and the way these cars look and make people feel,’ he told us. ‘I think buyers are getting tired of the current cars. Young buyers want premium models but they want them to stand out and look different.’

Ono San chatted us through the 2011 concept for the C Segment car at a special event in California – and promised the latest incarnation, being unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show next week, will be even better.

‘The next concept will show even further how we plan to attract these premium customers,’ he said. ‘I’ve taken inspiration from all walks of life for this car. I took a road trip out here in California and visited the vineyards and restaurants here, just as I suspect buyers of this car would, and I spent time thinking about how their lives were and how I could make this car fit into them.

‘Design is important and so to is the technology. These cars have to be connected to their world and offer something different.’

The new C Segment car will be built at Nissan’s Sunderland plant and will feature a hybrid power train. It is scheduled to arrive in showrooms in 2015.

Ono San said customers would be creative types working in industries that have design values, and he was sure the car Infiniti produces – a model that will rapidly become its best seller – will be exciting enough for them to break away from the German norm in this sector.


James Baggott's avatar

James is the founder and editor-in-chief of Car Dealer Magazine, and CEO of parent company Baize Group. James has been a motoring journalist for more than 20 years writing about cars and the car industry.

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