Nissan announced today that it will invest £250 million ($407 million) into its Sunderland, U.K. plant to build a new Infiniti compact car.
The brand already backed out of a deal to have Magna Steyr build the unnamed car, but the car will be built nonetheless. Information on the car is still unavailable, but offering a compact luxury car will be a key move for Infiniti as other luxury automakers rush to offer small cars.
It’s likely that the vehicle will lean on Renault-Nissan’s partnership with Daimler to use Mercedes’ MFA front-wheel drive platform to produce the brand’s first premium compact car. Production is set to begin in 2015 with a targe to build 60,000 units per year. When the car reaches showrooms, it will be competing against cars like the BMW 1 Series, which will have migrated to a front-wheel drive platform, as well as the Audi A3.
While the car’s design isn’t clear yet, the Etherea concept first shown during the 2011 Geneva Motor Show (shown above) likely previews the car. Putting the car even more in line to compete against small european luxury vehicles, Nissan executive Colin Dodge said the brand’s London design centre and European Technical Centre at Cranfield will contribute in designing the vehicle.
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