In fact, during an interview with Ward’s Auto he said CEO Carlos Ghosn recently challenged him, saying “We don’t have to do Infiniti, can cancel it if you want.” Despite less than fantastic performance, Palmer isn’t ready to do that. Instead, he lured former Audi U.S. executive Johan de Nysschen, who is responsible for escalating North American sales for the four-ringed brand. Now, he plans to do the same with Infiniti.
“I need some time; I don’t need the volume pressure. What I’ll give you ultimately is a premium brand.” Palmer says de Nysschen told him. “And somewhere, by developing a premium brand, you’re not going to be disappointed by the profitability and the volume that comes.”
Part of that could include a car that would sit above the current M model. But Infiniti will go in a different direction where the Germans build flagships like the Audi A8 and BMW 7 Series, which he says are stagnating.
“I think many people would want it (due to compelling features and design), but it will occupy a premium-price position,” de Nysschen said.
Apart from a flagship, he also said a version of the Essence concept (above) that gave style blueprint to the recently unveiled Q50 is also possible. If there’s one resounding message, it’s that de Nysschen plans to hurry for no man.
“If you hold people’s feet to the fire, just for volume, you encourage the wrong kind of behaviors,” he said, referring to discounting cars at retail.
[Source: Ward’s Auto]
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