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Infiniti – Nissan's Luxury Subsidiary explores market profitability in Philippines
Infiniti Global Ltd or more commonly known as Infiniti is a subsidiary luxury automobile division of a leading Japanese automobile manufacturing company – Nissan. It was founded in 1989 and has its headquarters in Hong Kong. Other luxury vehicles marketed through the Nissan dealership in Japan – Nissan Prince Shop - included the Skyline and Cima. It was later renamed to "Nissan Red Stage" but was later disbanded. Infiniti was earlier headquartered in Nissan's corporate office situated in Yokohama but was later moved to Hong Kong in response to a better exclusive customer base in Mainland China.
Infiniti was first established in 1989 as a luxury automobile division of leading Japanese car brand – Nissan, in United States of America. The product lineup offered by Infiniti was meant to target exclusive customers and compete with other leading luxury Japanese luxury car brands such as Honda & Toyota. Voluntary Export Restraints imposed by the Japanese government made export of luxury cars to United States much profitable that prompted its US debut with premium models such as Q45 & M30.
Debut in Japan
Infiniti marque was officially introduced in Japan in 2013 with a hybrid version of Infiniti Q50 as a 2014 model. It was based on Nissan Skyline while Q45 remains the oldest Infiniti vehicle introduced in Japan with Nissan Infiniti Q45 being on sale from 1989 – 1996. Other models subsequently released in Japan include Infiniti G, Nissan Skyline, Infiniti M and Infiniti EX. Skyline & Chima were exclusively introduced in Japanese markets through premium Nissan dealership networks – "Nissan Prince Shop", which was later renamed as "Nissan Red Stage".
Infiniti is currently managed by Nissan Motor Corporation Chief Executive Officer Carlos Ghosn and Executive Vice President & Chairman of Managing Committee for North America Jose Munoz. Other notable officers currently managing Nissan Global include Chief Competitive Officer Hiroto Saikawa, Chief Financial Officer Joseph G Peter, Vice Chairman Toshiyuki Shiga, Senior Vice President & Chief Creative Officer Shiro Nakamura, Executive Vice Presidents – Takao Katagiri (Japan Marketing & Sales), Kimiyasu Nakamura (Total Customer Satisfaction Function), Hideyuki Sakamoto (Product Engineering) and Fumiaki Matsumoto (MFG & SCM Operations).
Infiniti offers a very impressive lineup of exclusive & premium luxury car models including Sedans, Coups, Convertibles and other Hybrid vehicles. Infiniti Philippines offers exclusive luxury cars such as Infiniti QX56, QX80, etc. Other notable models include Infiniti Q40, Q50, QX50, Q60, QX60, Q70, QX70, etc. It has an impressive lineup for concept vehicles including Infiniti Triant, Kuraza, Essence, Etherea, Emerg-e, LE, and Q30.
Infiniti made its racing debut at the 1996 Indy Racing League with its much acclaimed Q45 model (currently discontinued from production). It has achieved quite a few victories on major racing circuits all over the world. Other notable races include 2011 Red Bull Racing, 2011 Formula One Championships, etc. Infiniti became Title Sponsor for Red Bull Racing in 2013 and a future partnership with Red Bull Drinks owner – Dietrich Mateschitz. World famous Formula One racer Sebastian Vettel became Infiniti's first Global Ambassador in 2011.
Infiniti markets its products through a global chain of integrated dealership networks owned by Nissan Global Motors. Nissan Philippines has a huge dealership network in Philippines including those in U.N. Avenue, Quezon Avenue, Shaw Mandaluyong, North EDSA, Don Chino Roces, Mantrade Pasong Tamo, Ortigas, Commonwealth, West Gate Alabang, Southwoods, Dasmarinas, Pampanga, Bataan, San Pablo, Lipa, Cabanatuan, Pangasinan, Isabela, Naga, Iloilo Jaro, Iloilo La Paz, Bacolod, Cebu, Talcoban Palawan, Bohol, Cagayan de Oro and Davo.
Marketing & Sales
According to a survey conducted in 2013, Infiniti sold about 116,455 units in United States, 8947 units in Canada and 2209 units in Europe. Infiniti G Series, an executive compact luxury car model remains the bestselling car in United States with about 60% of total sales. It is available in coupe, convertible and sedan versions with the SUVs (Sports Utility Vehicles) being the most popular in USA. It also has its own performance division known as IPL or Infiniti Performance Line. Infiniti earlier used to sell its products through dealership stores owned by Universal Motors Corporation but is now marketed through Nissan Motor Company's dealership stores in Philippines. According to company insiders, Infiniti Q30 concept is meant to debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show scheduled to be held this year.