DETROIT — Nissan's luxury Infiniti brand will introduce only fully or partially electric vehicles starting 2021, with the exception of large SUVs.
The announcement follows several similar pledges by other automakers, including Volvo's vow to make a similar move in 2019.
The move brings the internal combustion engine slightly closer to its demise, though most experts believe it will take several decades to transition completely to electric vehicles.
Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa told Automotive News World Congress that electric vehicles are a good fit for the Infiniti brand. The brand is switching to fully electric cars or models with electric motors and a small gas engine.
"This is going to be a unique sales point for Infiniti," he said at the event, which is taking place near the 2018 Detroit Auto Show.
The automaker recently introduced a redesigned Nissan Leaf electric car, having long pledged to lead the industry in electric vehicles.
But the company has lost ground on electric car sales. Silicon Valley automaker Tesla has seized the lead in luxury electric cars, and Detroit automaker General Motors has taken the sales lead in mass-market electric cars with the Chevrolet Bolt.
"Our strategy is to continue to be in a leading position" in electric cars," Saikawa said Tuesday.
Infiniti spokesman Kyle Bazemore said the brand expects to get more than 50% of its sales from electric or partially electric cars by 2025.
Saikawa took the reins of Nissan in 2017 after Carlos Ghosn relinquished the post to focus on oversight of the Nissan-Renault-Mitsubishi global alliance. Ghosn was credited building the brand into a global powerhouse.
Making his first public appearance in the U.S. since taking the job, Saikawa signaled Tuesday that the company would pivot from Ghosn's aggressive pursuit of sales volume to "quality of sales."
Still, he said that the company's longstanding goal of 10% market share in the U.S. is "quite feasible." Together, Nissan and Infiniti had 9.2% market share in 2017, according to Autodata.
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