PARIS – INFINITI president Johan de Nysschen has said INFINITI will expand its product portfolio to cover the premium market. Speaking in front of the EMERG-E concept at the Paris motor show, he said INFINITI is about cars drivers lust over.
Q1) Is the EMERG-E going to be the future of the INFINITI brand?
Johan de Nysschen, INFINITI President: It reflects a lot of the styling cues we will see in forthcoming INFINITI models, especially the interior.
A lot of those features and elements as a design theme will prevail.
As a car it is a very emotionally designed sports car. Perhaps it's a little bit distant in our future. But it hints in many other respects, and also technically some of the things that we are working on at our R+D and design headquarters.
Q2) Now you've been in the job, leading INFINITI for what, just a couple of months. What are your impressions?
Johan de Nysschen: Well I think it's about 70 or 80 days now, a deep dive into the business. Certainly I'm not surprised by what I found. I think there's an enormous degree of competence in the organization.
The opportunities for really leading edge technology and design are certainly there.
We need to work a little bit on clarifying how we position the brand and I look forward to working with the team on expanding our product portfolio, powertrains and all these things, that we need to do to cover the premium market in a more comprehensive fashion.
Q3) It's early days but do you have the makings of a vision and a strategy for INFINITI?
Johan de Nysschen: Yes, I would think that is part of my role as the leader of the business.
Certainly the long-term vision for the INFINITI brand is to build a powerful aspirational brand that is a brand that people seek out because it rewards them for their achievements and their success in life.
Underpinned of course by strong performance and emotional character and unquestionably entrenched as a tier one, premium brand and one that sells because it is desirable and not because it is easy to attain.
Q4) And what about the products? Are you going to have a halo car? Something like the EMERG-E maybe?
Johan de Nysschen: Well you know if we look at the market coverage of the available premium market today the current INFINITI portfolio covers only 60% of the total available premium market. So quite clearly we need to look at expanding our product portfolio.
We need certainly a compact premium entry model, especially for Europe. We need diesel power trains, we need four cylinder gasoline motors, and we need performance cars.
I think if INFINITI represents that high performance stuff and emotional element we need to also have cars line up that deliver on that stuff. Cars that might be irrational but cars that you simply lust after and you say ‘I want it because I want it.'
And a halo car? I think also if we have aspirations to be a top tier premium brand, has got to be part of our future thinking.
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