I've just spent a week driving the Infiniti Q50 Hybrid, trying to put the car into context with answers and comments from interviews with executives at the Frankfurt and Geneva motor shows.

Having spent time with Andy Palmer and Johan de Nysschen, respectively Nissan’s British head of product planning and Infiniti’s global boss, it is clear that Nissan is ambitious to turn Infiniti into a global force in the premium market, where investments return bigger profits and the market keeps on growing, despite the global downturn.

In fact, Palmer reckons 50 per cent of the profits in the global car industry come from premium models, with three brands generating 80-90 per cent of that profit.

For Infiniti the starting point has been a model range of SUVs and saloons focused on the US market, but now it is tasked to work in Asia, Europe and the Middle East.

The headline grabber is, of course, Infiniti’s ‘title’ sponsor link with Formula 1 team Red Bull Racing, which raises global awareness of the brand name.

And coming are a raft of new models focused on markets where the F1 link can work marketing magic – epitomised by the Q50 and the Eau Rouge concept – plus specific market cars like the new front-drive Q30, based on the new Mercedes A-class and to be built in the UK from 2015.