Infiniti outlook: More models, higher sales
Johan de Nysschen: Infiniti dealers will be asked to open additional stores.
Photo credit: JOE WILSSENS
DETROIT -- Infiniti's future includes more products, more sales and more dealerships, but not more dealers, said the company's top executive.
Johan de Nysschen, president of Infiniti Global Ltd., told the Automotive News World Congress that Infiniti plans over the next four years to add at least four vehicles to its U.S. lineup with new engines and transmissions, while renewing all current vehicles.
The Infiniti 2014 Q50 sports sedan, unveiled at the Detroit auto show, is the "first salvo," he added. He said there will be new crossovers, sedans and "some seductive" performance cars.
Those changes will bring sales growth, and dealers will be asked to open additional stores in their territories.
Though de Nysschen gave no timetable to expand Infiniti's retail network, he said it is all part of the company's plan to transform itself into a global luxury brand and "significantly" increase its volume by 2020. Infiniti's 2012 U.S. sales rose 22 percent to 119, 877 units.
"We want to grow with our dealer partners," de Nysschen said during an interview after his speech. "The expansion in volume is aimed at increasing throughput per store and improving profitability. It's really going to be demographic shifts and increasing market share that will dictate the rate of expansion of our network."
The expanded portfolio and new powertrains are facilitated in part by parent Nissan Motor Co.'s strategic engine-sharing deal with Daimler AG, he said.
Infiniti will buy diesel engines from Daimler. The premium compact model based on the Etherea Concept will use architecture from Daimler.
He also said Jatco Ltd., a transmission company in which Nissan has a 75 percent stake, will make transmissions for both companies at its plant in Mexico.
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