On June 1st, Infiniti announced its latest appointment: Jose Roman, the top head of Nissan in Mexico and Latin America, will become global president of Infiniti (Infiniti). He will take office on July 1st and work at the company's global headquarters in Yokohama, Japan. At the same time, Jose Roman will also serve as senior vice president of global sales for Nissan, reporting to Asako Hoshino, executive vice president (EVP) of Nissan.
Jose Roman, which has joined Infiniti's parent company Nissan since 2012, has more than 25 years of experience in markets such as Mexico, Colombia, Brazil and Japan, and is currently managing director of Nissan Mexico and Nissan importers, responsible for markets in 34 countries in Latin America, officials said. It is understood that Roman will succeed Peyman Kargar, who left Infiniti and returned to Renault in France on March 30. Kargar has been Infiniti's chief executive for the past three years. After Kargar left office, Olga Filippova, general manager in charge of global sales and marketing, was appointed interim president.
Before the management "reshuffle", Kargar is preparing to revive the brand with QX80 SUV as the core, thus ushering in the era of all-electric cars belonging to Infiniti. According to the development plan made by Kargar, Infiniti dealerships, product design concepts, publicity caliber, car voice and fragrance all have to be revamped to attract customers. The restart of the brand will go hand in hand with the launch of the new version of QX80 as the brand's flagship product. But it is not clear whether the new leader will adjust the strategy.
Like Acura and Lexus, Infiniti is created for the North American market and competes directly with traditional luxury brands such as Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Audi, but Infiniti has not performed well in the past few years. In the US market, for example, Infiniti sales in the US fell 20 per cent year-on-year to 46619 vehicles in 2022.
In addition to the American market, Infiniti does not have much sense of presence in the Chinese market. Infiniti's sales in China plunged 57.81% year-on-year to 5687 vehicles in 2022, according to the data.
In July 2010, Infiniti set up its business headquarters in China in order to comply with the continuous growth of China's luxury car market. In May 2012, Infiniti moved its global headquarters to Hong Kong, announcing that China has become Infiniti's second largest market in the world after North America. In August 2014, with the formal establishment of Dongfeng Infiniti Automobile Co., Ltd. and entered the domestic stage, Infiniti domestic models were produced in Xiangyang factory. At present, Dongfeng Infiniti has three models on sale, the first domestic model, Q50L, was launched in November 2014, and the second domestic model, QX50, was launched in March 2015.
Soon, the domestically made Infiniti began to achieve rapid growth, with sales of 25467 vehicles in 2015, an increase of 2.61% to 26131 in 2016, 6.26% to 27766 in 2017, 3.97% to 28868 in 2018, and 21.36% to 35035 in 2019, a record high since Dongfeng Infiniti was founded.
However, with the introduction of new models by first-tier luxury brands BBA and second-tier luxury brands such as Cadillac, Volvo and Lexus, Dongfeng Infiniti, which has been slow to update its product matrix, has also begun to enter the brand downward phase.
Since Dongfeng Infiniti was founded, it only relies on Q50L and QX50 models to compete in the market, both quantity and quality are difficult to adapt to the current pace of the times. In February 2022, a new generation of QX60 was officially launched, with a price range of 39.98-619800 yuan. It is understood that QX60 is Dongfeng Infiniti's first medium-and large-scale SUV, and it is also the third domestic model after Q50L and QX50. However, because of the high price, it is not favored by the market when the new car is pre-sold. Data show that Dongfeng Infiniti sold only 507 vehicles from January to April.
Although Infiniti is having a hard time in China, it has no plans to withdraw from China. On Dongfeng Nissan 2022 FAMILY DAY, Wang Baojun, deputy director general of Infiniti Enterprise headquarters, said, "Infiniti will not only continue to dig deep into the Chinese market, but also go all out with the support of Dongfang to consolidate the position of Infiniti brand in China's luxury car market." In addition, Infiniti also said: "whether in the past or in the future, Infiniti will always be rooted in China and deeply cultivate China."
After Acura officially withdrew from the Chinese market in 2023, "whether Infiniti will be the next brand to withdraw from China" has become the focus of public opinion.
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