TOKYO -- Nissan Motor Co. COO Toshiyuki Shiga opposes rebadging Infiniti vehicles for sale in Europe as Renaults.
"In the short term, cross-badging may create big results, but the customer will be confused," he says. "The passion that people have for their brand should not be destroyed."
In the early days of the Renault-Nissan Alliance, there was considerable talk about cross-badging, Shiga says. In Mexico, the Renault Clio was rebadged and sold as a Nissan. But the two companies soon decided that was not the way to go.
Cross-badging continues now only for commercial vehicles. "We're actively thinking of cross-badging" more commercial vehicles in Europe, Shiga says.
Carlos Ghosn, CEO of Nissan and Renault, has said that launching Infiniti in Europe is not a priority for Nissan. Infiniti will go on sale in markets such as Russia and China first, he says. Those markets offer better opportunities than Europe for fat margins.
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