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Nissan to launch Infiniti brand in Europe from 2008

Nissan Motor Company has announced that its Infiniti luxury brand will launch across the European market during 2008.

The announcement was made in Tokyo by President and CEO, Carlos Ghosn, during a press conference for the company's 2005 fiscal year results.

Launched in the US and Canada in 1989, Infiniti is currently sold in North America, Taiwan, the Middle East and Korea. In 2006, Infiniti will be launched in Russia followed by China and Ukraine during 2007.

"In 1999 we made the decision to re-invest heavily in the Infiniti brand, focusing on outstanding products and a premium ownership experience," said Ghosn. "That investment has made Infiniti the fastest-growing luxury brand in the US.

Infiniti will be distributed in Europe through a dedicated sales and service network that will start operations during 2008.

Nissan also confirmed it will build an assembly plant on the outskirts of St. Petersburg, with production beginning next year.

Nissan's potential annual production at the new plant is estimated at 20,000-30,000 units, the Japanese Kyodo News agency reported yesterday, but without a sizeable local supplier network, local content is likely to be low. It has not been confirmed whether Infiniti models will form part of the plant's output.

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