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Infiniti Qs Up With New Naming Strategy

Japanese luxury maker offers hint of new products to come – including new flagship and entry compacts.

by on Dec.18, 2012

Infiniti's new CEO, Johan de Nysschen.

When Infiniti unveils a new premium sports sedan at the Detroit Auto Show, next month, it will be badged the Q50 – making it the first product to adopt the luxury maker’s new alphanumeric nomenclature.

Going forward, all Infiniti passenger cars will carry the Q badge followed by a two-digit number that signifies its position in the marque’s hierarchy, from entry-luxury to flagship. Sport-utility and crossover models will follow a similar pattern, but beginning with QX.

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“The reason we’re going through this change is that we’re on course for a significant expansion of our product portfolio,” explained Infiniti president John de Nysschen during a global media teleconference. But equally important, the recently appointed executive added, “We’re at a major inflection point as we embark on globalization.”

Click to Enlarge for a closer look at the renamed Infiniti model line-up.


Former Audi Chief de Nysschen Sets Out to Reshape Infiniti

My goal is "unlock the potential of the brand," says new CEO.

by on Aug.22, 2012

Infiniti's new CEO, Johan de Nysschen will have the chance to completely reshape the brand.

More than two decades after its well-publicized debut, Infiniti remains a brand without a clear identity or well-defined mission.  But all that could soon change.

The Nissan luxury brand has moved its headquarters from Japan to Hong Kong and hired on long-time Audi executive Johan de Nysschen as it new global chief executive.  His challenge at Infiniti is not unlike what he faced at Audi, says the South African-born de Nysschen, taking an also-ran automaker and turning it a serious, top-tier contender.

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“My goal is to unlock the potential of this brand,” de Nysschen told during an interview in Pebble Beach, California prior to the annual Concours d’Elegance.  “One of the things I bring to the table,” he added, “is I’m willing to challenge” the established order.


Infiniti Cutting the Cord With Wireless Charging on LE Battery Car

Luxury alternative to Nissan Leaf due in 2014, maker reveals.

by on Aug.20, 2012

The Infiniti Emerg-E concept battery car makes it North American debut in Pebble Beach.

Infiniti will bring its first battery-electric luxury car to market sometime in 2014, the maker confirmed, with the prototype introducing a new charging system that will no longer require an owner to plug it into a wall charger.

In fact, the Infiniti LE will be able to park itself in precisely the right spot over the new induction charging system’s special mat, an executive told

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Meanwhile, the maker continues to study whether to add a second, even more sporty battery-car model to its line-up, one that would be based on the well-received Infiniti Emerg-E concept vehicle that made its splashy debut at the Geneva Motor Show earlier this year.


Scott Keogh Named New Audi of America Chief

Replaces long-time boss De Nysschen.

by on Jun.21, 2012

Luxury segment veteran Scott Keogh will be Audi's new president, replacing Johan De Nysschen.

Audi of America has a new president, current marketing chief Scott Keogh taking the reins after the recent, surprise departure of the maker’s long-time U.S. boss Johan De Nysschen.

The 43-year-old Keogh steps in at a good time for the automaker which has posted 17 consecutive months of record sales, reaching an all-time high in the U.S. market last year.  But the new Audi of America president will have to now prove he can maintain that momentum – and position Audi to meet a target set by his predecessor of nearly doubling sales by 2016.

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“Audi has demonstrated remarkable progress in recent years,” said Keogh from Audi’s U.S. headquarters in the Washington, D.C. suburb of Herndon, Virginia. “There is much work to be done in a highly competitive segment of the auto business. But the sights are set and the team is in place to meet our goals.”


Farewell Audi, De Nysschen Heading to Infiniti

Will run global luxury operations as they move to Hong Kong.

by on Jun.04, 2012

New Infiniti global boss Johan De Nysschen, shown here celebrating word the 2010 Audi A3 had been named Green Car of the Year.

Having abruptly handed in his resignation to Audi, the maker’s former U.S. marketing chief will be heading over to Hong Kong, there to take the reins at Nissan’s new global headquarters for the Infiniti division.

The unexpected announcement last week accompanied a series of shake-ups across the Volkswagen upper management ranks – leading some to speculate that De Nysschen was unceremoniously pushed aside despite his enviable track record.  After years of lagging in the second tier among luxury players in the American market, Audi has recently been setting one record after another, with plans to double volumes before the decade is out.

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But Infiniti has its own ambitious goals and in his new post De Nysschen will be handling things on a global scale.  Earlier this year Nissan dropped word that it would put further distance between its mainstream operations and the luxury brand by moving Infiniti to Hong Kong.


Infiniti Production Shifting to China

Nissan luxury brand latest to target high-line Chinese market.

by on Apr.23, 2012

Infiniti launched the new M35hL stretch hybrid but is preparing for even more significant changes for China.

Luxury maker Infiniti is planning to begin production of two new models in China in 2014, part of aggressive global growth plans that also include shifting the Nissan Motor Co. division’s headquarters from Japan to Hong Kong.

Infiniti officials said they aren’t worried about an apparent slowdown in the Chinese market during the first quarter of 2012 – nor about the challenges some makers have had delivering world-class quality from Chinese assembly plants.

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“If the quality isn’t there, we won’t launch,” Andy Palmer, the executive vice president who oversees the Infiniti division, said during the first press day at this year’s Beijing Motor Show.

But the maker’s Nissan division has so far had very positive results at its own Chinese operations, which now rival the best in Japan, company officials stressed, giving them confidence they can move ahead with their plans to shift production of at least two Infiniti models to the Middle Kingdom.


Infiniti Setting Up Shop in Hong Kong

Move underscores importance of Chinese luxury car market.

by on Nov.04, 2011

A production version of the Infiniti Etherea concept could be targeted at the Chinese market.

In the wake of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami, last March, a number of automakers have been shifting production out of Japan, but Nissan apparently has another reason why it has decided to relocate the global headquarters of its Infiniti division to Hong Kong.

The move will put the brand’s central office right in the heart of the booming Chinese luxury car market, with other emerging markets, such as India, a short flight away.

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The relocation underscores the increasing importance not only of China to the Japanese maker, but it also shows the growing role of the Infiniti brand, itself.  Infiniti originally focused on the U.S. after its debut, 21 years ago, but is now rapidly reaching out to other markets around the world.