Infiniti has its work cut out for it. Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn wants the luxury brand to hit a sales target of 100,000 units in Europe by 2016. Last year, the company moved just 12,500 vehicles in the market. According to Automotive News Europe, the goal is part of a larger strategy to swell the brand's global sales to 500,000 units by the same deadline, up from 146,000 in 2011. The report suggests Infiniti expects the planned new premium compact to push most of that increase. The car will likely borrow heavily from the Etherea Concept, and will ostensibly be designed as a suitable competitor to machines like the Audi A3, BMW 1 Series and Mercedes-Benz A-Class.
Unfortunately, reports suggest it isn't due to hit dealer lots until 2014 at the earliest. The new model will ride on the same chassis as the Mercedes-Benz A-Class and will be built by Magna Steyr. The manufacturer says it can produce between 50,000 and 60,000 of the new models per year.
But with former Audi executive Johan de Nysschen now at the helm of Infiniti's global operations and a slew of new diesel-powered sedans and SUVs in the mix, Infiniti certainly has a shot at increasing its sales. Whether or not it can meet its lofty goals remains to be seen.