According to domestic media reports, more than half of Infiniti dealers have closed their doors. In response to this news, Infiniti responded that there is a big discrepancy with the facts, and it is a natural phenomenon for individual dealers to withdraw from the network.
According to the data, Infiniti's sales network in China reached its peak in 2018, with 131 stores and 122 after-sales stores nationwide, but now there are only 58 Infiniti stores nationwide, and some of them have been replaced by small stores, and even Infiniti models have been incorporated into Dongfeng Nissan showrooms for sale.
Infiniti is a luxury brand owned by Nissan, belonging to Toyota's Lexus and Honda's Acura. Compared with the above two Japanese luxury brands, Infiniti has not been dismal to delist, but life is also very difficult. Terminal sales data show that Infiniti sold only 5060 vehicles in China in 2023, down 20.83% year-on-year. The highest sales model was Q50L with 2088 vehicles, QX50 and QX60 with 1457 vehicles and 1259 vehicles respectively.
For the decline in sales, the industry generally attributed the reasons behind Infiniti's insufficient attention to the Chinese market, the lack of iteration of old products and the slow introduction of new products. Since Infiniti became domestic, it has pressed the pause button after launching Q50L and QX50 models. During this 8-year blank period, Infiniti unswervingly practiced the thrifty way of "new three years old three years, sewing and mending for another three years." Q50L and QX50 increased configuration and kept updated, that is, they did not iteratively upgrade. In the end, even welcome laser LOGO lights and wireless charging were promoted as selling points.
In February 2022, the brand-new generation QX60 was officially launched, with a price range of 399,800 - 619,800 yuan. It is understood that QX60 is Dongfeng Infiniti's first medium and large SUV, but also the third domestic model after Q50L and QX50. However, due to the high pricing, it is not optimistic about the market when the new car is pre-sold, monthly sales of only 100 vehicles.
In April 2023, Dongfeng Nissan Passenger Vehicle Company of Dongfeng Motor Co., Ltd. announced the latest personnel appointment: Liu Xinyu will serve as the general manager of Dongfeng Nissan Automobile Sales Co., Ltd., and General Fujiki Minoru will serve as the general director of Infiniti Business Headquarters of Dongfeng Nissan Passenger Vehicle Company.
The new head of Infiniti's business headquarters, Minoru Fujiki, is a Nissan executive. According to the announcement, Mr. Fujiki graduated from Waseda University majoring in economics and joined Nissan in 2019. He successively held positions such as Director of Asia-Pacific Marketing Department of Nissan, Project Director of Nissan Indonesia Company, Director of Global Dealer Network Department of Global Sales and Dealer Network Headquarters, Executive Deputy General Manager of Zhengzhou Nissan, etc. From the resume to see, Liu Xinyu and Fujiki Minoru mostly have rich experience in the automobile industry, but whether Nissan or Infiniti, their life in the domestic market is difficult, become the company's new leader faces huge development pressure.
In 2023, Nissan's cumulative sales volume in China, including passenger cars and light commercial vehicles, was 793,800 units, down 24.06% year-on-year, the first time since 2010 that it fell below one million sales. Starting in 2019, Nissan's sales in China began to decline, from 1.564 million vehicles in 2018 to 793,800 vehicles in 2023, nearly halving.
Although Infiniti has a hard time in China, it has no intention of withdrawing from China. Wang Baojun, deputy director of Infiniti Business Headquarters, once said,"Infiniti will not only continue to deepen the Chinese market, but will also go all out with the support of shareholders 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 cultivated in China. "Of course, many brands have promised to deeply cultivate China and support China at this time, but in the face of endless market performance, these promises are undoubtedly empty talk.
From the industry's point of view, joint venture brand opportunities still exist, but changes must be made, especially at the marketing and technical levels. German-Japanese brands occupy 40% of the Chinese market, indicating that Chinese consumers are not far away from joint venture brands. Joint venture brands still have great development opportunities in the Chinese market. Changes in technology and marketing are inevitable. However, if they are still unchanged, enjoy their success and do not iterate and upgrade according to the times, they are destined to be eliminated by the market. For joint ventures such as Nissan, the transformation path in the Chinese market has just begun.
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