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Infiniti Australia announces east coast dealers

Boutique: Infiniti intends to achieve the same unique customer experience through its Australian dealerships as achieved in other markets like the UK (pictured).

Large local dealership groups selected to represent Infiniti in Australia

2 May 2012

UPDATED: 02/05/2012INFINITI Cars Australia has appointed three of this country’s largest dealer groups to establish its first three retail centres in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney, which are set to open in time for the brand’s launch in August.

The Nissan-owned Japanese luxury brand selected AP Eagers to represent it in Brisbane, Penfold Motors to handle Melbourne and Suttons Motors Group for Sydney.

Suitable Adelaide and Perth dealerships are still being researched as Infiniti picks through the numerous expressions of interest, with the successful applicants expected to open next year.

AP Eagers is one of Australia’s national automotive retail groups and operates across 28 brands, Penfold Motors claims to be Victoria’s highest-volume dealer for Holden (also holding Mazda, Mitsubishi and Audi franchises) and Suttons, Australia’s largest family-owned dealer group, covers 18 car and truck brands.

Brisbane’s Infiniti dealer will be located in the Fortitude Valley district close to the CBD, Sydney’s will be in the CBD itself and Melbourne’s will be in Burwood, 15 kilometres east of the CBD.

In addition to these and the planned sites in Adelaide and Perth, Infiniti has its eyes on other locations around the country.

Each of the initial three dealer groups are based – and run most or all of their operations – in their respective states.

Infiniti said each exceeded its selection criteria, which included an ability to deliver personalised customer service, sustain a record of high customer satisfaction and be able to provide skilled and experienced brand-dedicated teams of sales and management staff.

 center imageFrom Top: Infiniti G Coupe, M sedan and FX SUV

The brand’s intended point of difference is based around a customer-focus philosophy known as Total Ownership Experience, which aims to ensure customers “receive an outstanding luxury experience”.

Infiniti Australia general manager Kevin Snell said providing a “personalised, intimate, convenient and enjoyable” retail experience will help support the long-term success of its retail partners and “challenges the traditional approach to automotive retailing”.

Part of the experience will be the design of the dealerships, which are being created to Infiniti’s strict global standards with the help of leading Melbourne architectural firm Graphos to achieve a “boutique luxury hotel” feel.

Infiniti Australia national media and public relations manager Peter Fadeyev told GoAuto all three will use existing buildings that have been extensively modified to comply with Infiniti’s international retail design requirements.

The company says its unconventional dealership design, which among other things features etched windows that obscure the vehicles inside, “constitutes one of its many points of difference, reflecting the uniqueness of both its customer hospitality and range of exciting cars”.

Dealerships will be restricted to holding around seven vehicles in the main showroom and the small-scale, boutique feel will help dealers face the cost of real estate in prime areas and become profitable sooner.

The brand’s launch in August will start with the FX SUV – a rival to the BMW X5 and Benz M-Class – and M luxury sedan, which will be pitched against the Lexus GS, BMW 5 Series and Mercedes-Benz E-class.

In December, Infiniti will introduce the BMW 3 Series-size G coupe and convertible, but the G sedan available overseas is not currently part of the brand’s plans to have a seven-model range in Australia by 2015.

Infiniti’s entry to the Australian market comes as it expands its presence in Europe, where it claims to have opened a new dealership every two weeks since it launched there in 2008.

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