Infiniti’s handsome QX30 concept, a crossover version of the Q30 hatchback that will soon be emerging from Nissan’s Sunderland factory, is aimed at relatively young buyers.
Yet Francois Bancon, Infiniti’s head of product strategy, readily admits that the average age of a new car buyer is now 57, considerably more than the 30-40 year olds he is aiming at with this car.
"What’s changing, although it’s not evident yet, is that there are 30-40 year-olds who make enough money to be able to afford premium things," he says. "So the premium car will come earlier in their lives - they are changing the cycle of the 50-plus buying premium. This car is made for them as an aspirational target. It will be a minority at first," he adds, "but don’t underestimate it. The trend is relatively slow in Europe but in China it is already happening - the average age of a new car buyer there is 38 years old. They’re also less brand-driven - they’ll buy whatever is good."
If the production QX30 is good - and it looks a heap more appealing than Infiniti’s saloons - then that is what Bancon reckons they might be tempted to buy. "It’s a little bit off the beaten path, but not avantgarde."
If the strategy works, it could provide Infiniti with the breakthrough model that it badly needs in Europe, besides keeping Sunderland busy.