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Infiniti appoints new dealer

From here to Infiniti: Preston Motors Group has taken on the Japanese luxury brand’s Melbourne retail franchise.

Luxury brand announces replacement Melbourne dealer to remedy pre-launch hiccup

17 Oct 2012

INFINITI has confirmed the appointment of its new Melbourne dealership, having been left without a showroom in this vital market just six weeks before the brand’s Australian introduction early last month.

As GoAuto reported exclusively in early September, the large Penfold Group advised the Nissan-owned luxury brand in only mid-July that it would not proceed with its agreement to establish the franchise in the eastern suburb of Burwood.

And, as we predicted six weeks ago, the Melbourne franchise has now been given to the Preston Motors Group.

Infiniti Centre Brighton will open “soon” on Nepean Highway, about 15km south-east of the CBD, alongside Preston Motors’ $10 million Porsche showroom that opened in March 2009.

Infiniti Cars Australia said the new showroom – one of only three in Australia after Sydney and Brisbane – would be “designed according to Infiniti’s global IREDI architectural standards”.

The company’s general manager, Kevin Snell – who told us that Penfold’s decision to quit the brand had been accepted without rancor – said today the replacement showroom in Brighton puts the luxury marque “in the right hands and in the right location”.

“Appointing Preston Motors Group as our first operational retail partner in Melbourne is a great step forward for our brand,” he said.

“Positioning Infiniti in one of Australia’s most important luxury automotive retail precincts will expose our brand and range of exciting cars to a large and important customer and audience.”

Preston Motors Group this year celebrates its centenary, making it one of Australia’s longest running dealer groups, having started as the Preston Carrying Company in 1912.

It joins two other veteran automotive retail groups on the Infiniti books – Suttons Motors in Sydney and AP Eagers in Brisbane.

They are expected to be joined in the second half of 2013 by dealerships in Perth and Adelaide – Infiniti says it is currently considering expressions of interest – and Mr Snell said these would be followed by two more outlets in both Melbourne and Sydney within three years.

Preston Motors CEO John Bradley said he was thrilled to have Australia’s newest performance luxury brand in his stable.

“I’m looking forward to delivering the first Infiniti cars from our new retail centre,” he said.

“Infiniti is a dynamic and progressive brand that has an enormous future in Australia and my team and I can’t wait to open the doors to Infiniti Centre Brighton.”

Losing one of its three dealers made for a difficult launch for Infiniti Australia, which sold just eight cars in its first month of trading in Australia – seven examples of the FX crossover and a single M sedan.

In December, the brand expands its portfolio with the release of the Infiniti G coupe and the G convertible, but not the G sedan on which they are based because an all-new model will be launched soon.

The fifth-generation G sedan – but the first to come here – is scheduled to make its world debut at the Detroit Motor Show in January and is expected to go on sale in Australia in late 2013.

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