Infiniti has announced Guy Street as its new Managing Director in Australia, just 13 months after Jean-Philippe Roux was replaced by Chang-hwan (CH) Lee. Roux had held the position since late 2014, and his exit last year saw him take up a senior Nissan role in Europe.
Claiming 15 years experience in the automotive industry – including sales, fleet and supply chain roles – Street came to Australia from the UK in 2006 to resume a career that began with Manheim. He joined Nissan in 2013.
At Nissan, Street has held management roles in re-marketing and logistics, advancing to Regional Sales Manager and then General Manager of the Southern Region, overseeing the performance of 68 Nissan dealers in Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania and the Northern Territory.
Street's last posting ran from April until his appointment as Infiniti Australia Managing Director. Year-to-date, Nissan has registered 18,789 vehicles in Australia, marking a 2.1 per cent improvement on the same period in 2017 – although April 2018 sales were down 322 against April last year.
At Infiniti, Street (above) inherits a brand that has seen a 53 per cent slide in sales, year-to-date. By the end of April, Infiniti had reported 143 vehicles registered in 2018, compared to 310 for the same period in 2017. Sales for April were up, however, hitting 39 against 25 for April 2017.
Year to date, in numbers
- Infiniti Q30/QX30: 33 (Apr 18) 83 (Apr 17) -50 -60.2%
- Infiniti Q50: 52 (Apr 18) 69 (Apr 17) -17 -24.6%
- Infiniti Q60: 13 (Apr 18) 33 (Apr 17) -20 -60.6%
- Infiniti Q70: 5 (Apr 18) 8 (Apr 17) -3 -37.5%
- Infiniti QX70: 20 (Apr 18) 92 (Apr 17) -72 -78.3%
- Infiniti QX80: 20 (Apr 18) 25 (Apr 17) -5 -20.0%
Street's efforts to repair Infiniti's sales performance may deliver little in 2018, with the big facelifted QX80 being the brand's only new launch for the year. The crucial new QX50 mid-sizer (below) was initially pencilled in for a late-2018 debut, but the company is now targeting a 2019 launch, with exact timing still to be confirmed.
Brisbane showroom closed
The brand had also been on something of an expansion campaign over the past couple of years, opening new locations in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Canberra (the latter two as service centres only).
This week, however, Infiniti's showroom in Brisbane's Fortitude Valley closed, leaving only its service centre and a Gold Coast showroom as the luxury brand's only representation in Queensland.
Nissan and Infiniti communications chief Karla Leach confirmed the Brisbane closure in a statement to CarAdvice today.
"Consumer behavior coupled with the dynamic auto business in Australia results in an ever changing retail marketplace," Leach said.
"In the near future we will announce further changes to our retail footprint in Australia, to ensure the optimal service to our existing and potential Infiniti customers."
The Brisbane closure reduces Infiniti's showroom count to seven locations, along with four standalone service centres.
Heading off speculation on the brand's future in Australia, Leach added: "We are open for business, committed to our customers and to the long term future of Infiniti in Australia."