DETROIT – Infiniti President Johan de Nysschen will be a featured speaker on the first day of the 2013 Automotive News World Congress, with details on new models and technologies changing the game for the premium brand.
Ahead of the address at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, De Nysschen spoke with the Global Media Center on the new Q50 sedan and the outlook ahead.
Q1: The Q50 was unveiled today (Jan. 14). How does this set the table for Infiniti in 2013?
De Nysschen: The unveiling of the all-new Infiniti Q50 has been extremely well received and this important new car is but a hint of the absolutely fascinating products that lie in our future.
We are going to be embarking on an important product offensive, introducing new models, above and below the current line-up, new powertrains, new transmissions, so absolutely exciting stuff, new technology, and importantly, of course, the design language, as we begin to cultivate the aspirational brand character for Infiniti to truly set us apart from within the Renault-Nissan Alliance, but also from our premium brand competitors globally.
Q2: Infiniti is already in nearly 50 markets globally, saw 21 percent growth last year, what regions should be watched ahead?
De Nysschen: We can anticipate some continued growth from the U.S., which is important to us. It's obviously our mainstream market. Start of sales of the new Q50 will help, but it comes a little bit towards the back end of the year, so we'll only see the real full-year impact next year.
We anticipate also improved supply of cars like the JX, which has been supply-constrained for some time, and so we could probably anticipate some modest growth in quantity of business.
Our focus now is not volume – not in the U.S., not globally. Our focus now is on brand. That is our mission. That is our priority, which means long-term sustainable high-quality growth.
We want to begin to work on the repositioning of the brand, repositioning of the pricing, extracting more value, reduced incentives, and proving the quality of the business, and that must take priority above just pure volume growth.
Q3: The Q50 debuted today (Jan. 14). What can you say about the cadence of new product and technologies ahead?
De Nysschen: The young premium consumers who are entering the marketplace now are totally consumed by their devices, and they expect that kind of capability from the brands of choice. Infiniti is going to be there leading the charge, and I think this area is developing so rapidly and we have an open architecture, we've got the ability to really update the system continuously, and it is a going to be a key differentiator for us into the future.
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