Though Nissan has been selling cars with the Infiniti brand in North America for over two decades, you haven’t been able to buy an Infiniti in Japan. That’a about to change as Nissan will start selling the Infiniti brand at Nissan dealerships in their home market, according to a Nikkei report.
Demand for for luxury cars in Japan has been growing and German nameplates like BMW and Mercedes-Benz may have more cachet in that segment than the more mundane Japanese brands. The first Infiniti branded car to be sold in Japan will be the redesigned Skyline luxury sports sedan. Sales of Infinitis in Japan may start as early as this winter, supplied by a Nissan assembly plant in Tochigi prefecture. The current Skyline is sold as the Infiniti Q50 in North America. For the time being there will be no standalone Infiniti sales channel for Japan, and possible expansion of the brand in Japan will depend on trends in that market.]
Last May, Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn set a new profit target for Infiniti, which has accounted for less than 1% of Nissan’s operating profit over the last two years. The Infiniti unit’s profitability has been hampered by the fact that the brand’s cars are mostly exported from Japan, where a strong yen has made it a relatively expensive place to assemble automobiles. Infiniti’s president, Johan de Nysschen, told Reuters at the recent Frankfurt auto show that the brand will meet its profit margin objective of 6 to 7 percent this year, as the now weakening yen has defrayed launch costs of the Q50.