Infiniti is targeting every premium market sector in Europe where there is potential for significant sales growth, Vice President of the EMEA region Francois Goupil de Bouille has revealed at the Paris Motor Show 2014.
“You can speculate which these are,” he said.
The first product to follow this brand expansion strategy will be the Q30 premium compact hatchback in 2015. “These models take half the premium market in Europe and we have to be represented there.
It has the potential to grow our sales five times over.”
Infiniti will not dilute its brand values to fit this new model plan though. “We must, however, be a credible alternative – quality must be at an extremely high level, for example. Our rivals have put expectations very high and we have to match them.
Design must also be appealing. But we won’t simply copy others. If we do so, we will fail.”
Infiniti: there is a space for us in premium
Infiniti’s target premium USP is being different in design and offering advanced technology to back up the brand’s famed meticulous quality. This is why a powertrain alliance with Daimler is able to work: Mercedes-Benz and Infiniti will compete in the same sectors, but “we have different products, different product targets… no one brand can cater for all segments.”
The focus for the brand is gaining critical mass, said Goupil de Bouille. “Today, our products cover 45-50% of the marketplace. By 2020, they will cover 85%, and this will give is the market coverage we need to be sustainable.
Infiniti’s renewed focus on cracking the European premium market has come because it believes success here is critical if it is to be seen as a genuine global luxury brand. “Most premium brand are here, so to be successful, you have to succeed here.”
There’s a strong business case behind Infiniti’s huge investments. “The European premium market is the biggest in the world, with 2.4 million cars sold annually. China is on 2 million, and the US is on 1.6-1.7 million.”
Given such numbers, and the dominance of German premium brands in Europe, Goupil de Bouille is clear: “I really believe there is room for a brand like Infiniti in Europe.” It is up to the market to decide if it agrees.