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New sales, franchise managers at Infiniti

Vital: Infiniti describes its latest personnel changes, including Peter Dimopoulos as its first dedicated national sales manager since 2013, as vital in strengthening its Australian operations.

Infiniti reshapes local team with new sales, dealer managers as HR chief heads to HQ

8 May 2015

INFINITI Cars Australia has reshaped its senior management team ahead of the next wave of new model launches, announcing the appointment this week of Peter Dimopoulos as national sales manager and Steve Houlihan as franchise development manager.

With the QX80 flagship SUV confirmed as arriving in July, and much stronger sales volume anticipated with the forthcoming Q30 hatch and QX30 crossover due next year, Mr Dimopoulos takes on the top sales position after three years as a business development manager with sister brand Nissan Australia.

He becomes the first dedicated national sales manager at Infiniti since Andrei Zaitzev left the company in late 2013.

The role was subsequently covered by former general manager Campbell York and his replacement, Jean-Philippe Roux, who joined late last year as managing director.

Meanwhile, Mr Houlihan moves to Infiniti after two years as network development manager at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) Australia.

Prior to that, Mr Houlihan spent more than two decades at Iveco Trucks Australia in a variety of roles, including company secretary, financial and accounting operations manager and retail network development manager.

The top franchise development role at Infiniti was previously the responsibility of Nick Parkington, who had overseen the fledgling dealer network since the Japanese luxury brand announced in 2011 that it was launching in Australia the following year.

 center imageFrom top: Infiniti motor company general manager global human resources Gayle Antony and Infiniti cars Australia franchise development manager Steve Houlihan.Mr Parkington transferred to Nissan last year as a business development manager, working alongside Mr Dimopoulos.

In announcing the new appointments, Mr Roux described them as “vital in strengthening Infiniti’s local operations” which remain a niche proposition for the time being with only four retail outlets (Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Gold Coast) and four model lines (Q50, Q60, Q70 and QX70) .

Its sales have increased 41 per cent to the end of April this year, albeit with a modest tally of 178 vehicles over that period, and since its arrival in 2012 the brand has only just cracked 1000 new registrations overall.

Limited further growth is expected with the launch of the QX80 flagship SUV in July – expected to be a niche proposition only – with strong incremental volume hinging on forthcoming compact models such as the Q30 hatch and QX30 crossover, both of which are due here in 2016.

“Infiniti has spent the last three years establishing a solid growth footing in Australia,” Mr Roux said.

“Our results have remained solid and we are about to take our next growth step with some new dealerships and a wave of new products, the first of which arrives in July this year and go on to include a raft of exciting all-new models, indicated by concept vehicles such as the Q30 premium compact, the QX30 crossover and the provocative Q60 Concept sports coupe.”

In other recent personnel moves at Nissan/Infiniti, Nissan Australia’s executive general manager of human resources Gayle Antony has relocated from Dandenong to Hong Kong as Infiniti’s new global head of human resources.

She reports directly to Infiniti Motor Company president Roland Krueger, while Simon Woollard takes over the top human resources position at Nissan Australia after two years as HR general manager.

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