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Audi executive to lead Infiniti worldwide

Bound for Hong Kong: Nissan and Infiniti executives Takeshi Nakajima, Andy Palmer, Carlos Ghosn, Shiro Nakamura and Polly Chiu at the opening of the new Infiniti HQ in Hong Kong.

Nissan luxury brand Infiniti names first dedicated chief as new Hong Kong HQ opens

5 Jun 2012

NISSAN has announced the appointment of a dedicated global head of its Infiniti brand – former Audi of America president Johan de Nysschen – following the luxury division’s opening of new global headquarters in Hong Kong last month.

Nissan Motor Co executive vice-president Andy Palmer is currently in charge of Infiniti, as well as the Japanese auto giant’s product planning, business strategy and marketing communications.

Officially taking up the new position on July 1, Mr de Nysschen will report to Mr Palmer and will steer the Infiniti brand towards its goal of a 10 per cent share of the global luxury car market by 2016, up from about three per cent today.

“We have exciting and ambitious plans for improving the Infiniti brand, including introducing new models in all markets where premium customer demand exists,” said Mr Palmer.

“Johan is a highly successful global luxury automotive executive and his leadership of Infiniti will be a key factor in realising the potential of the Infiniti brand.”

Mr de Nysschen has worked for Audi for the past 19 years, serving in senior management positions in South Africa, Japan and the US. He also has experience with BMW in South Africa.

 center imageLeft: Global head of Infiniti, Johan de Nysschen.

Nissan’s relocation of Infiniti from Japan to Hong Kong sees the luxury marque become the first global auto-maker based in the Chinese city-state – a market with the highest percentage (almost 50 per cent) of luxury car sales in the world.

Nissan Motor Co CEO Carlos Ghosn flagged at the May 22 opening that the company was poised to announce a dedicated chief for Infiniti, saying “we have tremendous growth to bring and to organise”.

“For this, we need to focus on Infiniti and we need to make sure that the people who work for Infiniti are, in a certain way, one team, in one location and absolutely conscious of what they have to do and be very well co-ordinated,” he said.

The Hong Kong HQ will have around 100 employees by the end of this year, mostly hired from outside the company.

Infiniti launches in Australia in August with the FX SUV and M luxury sedan, followed by the G coupe and convertible in December. A host of further models are anticipated from 2013 onwards, including a sportscar, electric vehicle and a compact series

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