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by Daniel DeGasperi

Infiniti global boss Johan de Nysschen has described current sales of the Japanese luxury brand in Australia as “obviously not sustainable” at the Detroit auto show today.

Presented with the reality that two Infiniti models made the top 10 worst sellers list of 2013 – the Infiniti M at 42 sales, the Infiniti G37 at 75 – and asked whether it is feasible to continue with those volumes, the man at the top was prompted to make the remark.

De Nysschen also admitted the current range of Infiniti models in Australia was too reflective of US market tastes, but was quick to offer solutions.

“I think we need to launch cars that resonate with consumers,” he said.

“The Q50 is the first shot at that, and also powertrains that are relevant to the Australian consumer, diesels, smaller-capacity turbocharged four-cylinder cars.”

“These will go a long way to producing a product portfolio that is more relevant to the Australian consumer than the US-centric portfolio that has been available thus far.”

Infiniti-Q50

The company this week launched its BMW 3 Series-rivalling Infiniti Q50 sedan in the local market priced from $51,990, its cheapest local offering yet. Powered by a 2.2-litre turbo-diesel, it undercuts the price of a Mercedes-Benz C200 CDI that utilises the same engine but in a lower state of tune by almost $10,000.

De Nysschen told CarAdvice in September that it would have been “helpful” to delay the launch of the Infiniti brand until new product such as the Q50 arrived.

Despite confessing that current volumes are not sustainable, when asked directly whether Infiniti would pull out of Australia if sales didn’t improve, de Nysschen responded “no, absolutely not”.




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