Nissan Sends Infiniti to Europe– and Beyond!
Infiniti is, for all intents and accounting purposes, a U.S. brand. Last year, Nissan's luxury division shifted American customers' expectations– I mean sold brand fans 127,038 new vehicles (93,717 cars and 33,321 SUVs). And now Infiniti's heading across the pond to convince European buyers that, uh, what's their tagline again? It's not on the press release. Or the Euro-press website. Uh-oh. Despite a deeply worrying lack of branding, Infiniti is set to open some 80 stores throughout the Eurozone. The world's snobbiest car market. Where logical competitor Lexus has gained about as much traction as a Prius attempting a hill climb in a blizzard. To gauge Infiniti's chances of carving out a niche in the home of the luxury car, I rang-up Infiniti Euro Comms. Director Wayne "No Comma" Bruce for the inside dope on the dealers and the marque's plans for luxury conquest sales. [Podcast below] Bruce reckons sporty value-priced products, exclusivity and bespoke customer service will carry the day. Yes, well, the longest journey starts with a single FX: the new model's ready for its Geneva debut. It'll be the first new Infiniti revealed outside the U.S. Infiniti's going to need that kind of commitment– and then some– to make this venture work. Meanwhile, the brand is being "nurtured" in the Middle East.
Infiniti may be sufficently unique to make it in Europe. A significant number of Infiniti FX SUV's, surely an extraordinary model, have been privately imported by Europeans.
Well if the G35 does well with Jeremy and puts up a good time on the track, that's half the battle already. :)
No diesel until 2010? They are doomed. BMW sells 70% diesels in Europe. I highly suspect that pretty much all the gassers they sell are rental-spec 116i and 318d. If Infiniti wants any kind of success, they have to compete in the company car market. European fleet managers won't buy into 300+hp gassers, because they depreciate like a used toothbrush.
"value-priced" AND "exclusive"? they're fairly mutually, er, exclusive... aren't they?