Infiniti poised to enter premium market
Heard of Infiniti? It’s a premium Japanese brand that is wellknown in most parts of the world – but not, up until now, in New Zealand.
But now that’s changing. Infiniti New Zealand is now operating as the wholly-owned subsidiary of Kiwi-owned Global Motors New Zealand Ltd – the same organisation that distributes Renault product – and is establishing dealerships in Auckland and Christchurch.
The future is likely to see more dealerships at such cities as Wellington and Tauranga. But firstly the brand will test the water where the bulk of luxury product is already being sold. Auckland accounts for 58.5 per cent of the luxury market, and Christchurch 14 per cent.
The first stand-alone dealership will be at Christchurch’s Euromarq alongside Infiniti’s fellow Renault-nissan Alliance brand Renault. It is expected to be operational early in March. The second will open around September at 500 Great South Rd in Greenlane, Auckland, once again alongside the existing Renault dealership.
Both Infiniti dealerships are currently sharing showroom space with their Renault cousins, and initially the brand’s Q50 sedan, QX70 sports SUV and mega-sized QX80 SUV are being sold. The future may see further Infiniti models on sale, including the Q30 hatch, QX30 small SUV, and Q60 coupe.
At a media briefing in Auckland, special guest, Hironori Fujita, the managing director of Infiniti in Asia and Oceania, forecast New Zealand’s premium market will accept the vehicles well.
‘‘It is the premium brand of the Renault-nissan Alliance,’’ he said. ‘‘The models are performance oriented driver-centric vehicles, and we are confident that will resonate with New Zealand motorists.’’
Fujita said the Infiniti strategy for New Zealand is to firstly introduce core product.
‘‘We’ll see how the market reacts to that, and then we’ll set a growth strategy. But overall we are excited. We see New Zealand as one of the growth markets.’’
Infiniti was launched by Nissan as a brand in North America in 1989, and has progressed to be present in more than 15 countries worldwide.
The product for New Zealand is built in Japan, but the Infiniti name is not used here – although the Q50 is sold as the Nissan Skyline.
Infiniti Q50 is available with conventional powertrain or as a hybrid.