This summer, Audi CEO Johan de Nysschen made a surprising shift when he moved to join Nissan as the Senior Vice President of Nissan Motor Company in charge of the Infiniti division. His title and home base are not all that's different about the man who used to tout diesel powertrains above all others.
Asked by his own PR department during the 62nd Annual Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance last weekend if Infiniti will introduce a "halo car," de Nysschen said "absolutely." He then rattled off a number of possible powertrains for this vehicle, including compact gasoline engines and diesels. Oh, and plug-in power. Specifically, he said, "The electric powertrain is a very important part of Infiniti's progressive technology attack on the future."
This might come as a bit of a shock to readers who remember de Nysschen as the guy who harshly criticized plug-in cars back in 2009 when he called the Chevrolet Volt a "car for idiots." He later dialed this back a bit, but he's never been an EV's strongest proponent. Now that he's in the house that Ghosn built, he's singing a different tune. Watch it below.
De Nysschen isn't the first auto company executive to have a change of heart when moving to a new company. Exhibit A: Stefan Jacoby.