Infiniti officially launches in NZ
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Luxury Japanese car brand will have two dealerships
The luxury Japanese car brand, Infiniti, has officially opened in New Zealand with dealerships in Auckland and Christchurch.
The brand from Nissan, that also has a relationship with Renault, will initially launch three products here; the Q50 sedan, available as a petrol or AWD hybrid model, plus the QX70 sports SUV and the QX80, now officially New Zealand’s largest premium SUV.
Infiniti Asia Pacific’s managing director, Hironori Fujita, was in Auckland today to announce the brand’s launch into New Zealand.
He said that Infiniti has officially expanded into New Zealand now due to the brand’s “growth path”.
Infiniti QX80 SUV
He said that 230,000 units were sold globally in 2016, with an 18 per cent increase in the Asia region.
“There were record highs last year with Australia having an increase of 41 per cent, with 800 units sold,” said Fujita-san.
He said the brand began to focus on sustainable growth, with New Zealand “one of the growth markets”.
Last year New Zealand had a record number of new vehicles registered with 146,753 units and predictions that this year it will hit more than 150,000.
“We wanted to grow too in a geographical perspective … initially we will start in Auckland and Christchurch for coverage. We will have to assess (expanding further), it will have to be feasible,” said Fujita-san.
Infiniti New Zealand’s chief operations officer, Tom Griffiths, said expansion would depend on “what the market has been doing”.
“We will look at the growth patterns in the regions … we have to go to traditional markets first then look at growth areas (like Tauranga and Mount Maunganui),” said Griffiths.
Infiniti QX70 SUV
Infiniti will be sold in Auckland out of the Renault dealership in Greenlane while its own showroom is being built at 500 Great South Road, and in the 10 days will open in Christchurch at the city’s Renault dealership.
Neither Griffiths nor Fujita-san wanted to predict sales in New Zealand for 2017 for Infiniti, but both said their products were “driver-centric”.
While the brand has relationship with Nissan, with our products sold here to be built in Japan, it has a strong relationship with Renault.
“Infiniti is the premium brand for the (Nissan-Renault) alliance,” said Fujita-san, while Griffiths described it as the “sports performance” brand for the alliance.
“Infiniti stands on its own two feet,” said Griffiths.