Infiniti expects the Q30 compact premium hatchback and its sibling model, the QX30 crossover, to give the brand a huge sales boost in Europe. Infiniti has struggled to make an impact since it launched in the region in 2008.
“They will make a big bang. Compact premium cars are by far the biggest premium segment in Europe,” Infiniti’s Europe chief, Francois Goupil de Bouille, told Automotive News Europe. Infiniti estimates about 2.4 million premium cars are sold annually in Western Europe and that compact models account for half that total.
Infiniti parent Nissan has capacity to make 60,000 units a year of the two cars at its factory in Sunderland, England, which will be the global production hub for the model family. Europe is supposed to get half of the Q30/QX30 output starting this year. From January to October 2015, Infiniti increased its European sales by 4 percent to 18,200 units.
At a height of 1495mm, the Q30 is taller than most compact premium hatchbacks but shorter than most compact SUVs, the company said. This is because the Q30 uses the same underpinnings as the Mercedes-Benz GLA SUV rather than those from the A-class hatchback.
The QX30 is 30mm taller than the Q30 and features cladding on the wheel arches that is 5mm thicker than on its sibling model. The QX30 also has a slightly different front grille than the Q30 and roof rails are standard on the crossover.
“We expect the Q30 to be our best-seller in Europe, with the QX30 covering 10 percent to 15 percent of our sales in the region,” said Enrico Panni, who is product strategy manager for Infiniti’s European unit. The Q30 went on sale in Europe in last November. The QX30 will follow in the middle of this year.