Luxury car makers with a stake in the Australian market will soon have a new challenge afoot. The fastest-growing luxury marque in the U.S. recently announced its plans to sell a range of sedans, coupes and SUVs. Starting sometime around September 2012, three Infiniti SUV models will be sold in three stand-alone, franchise-owned dealerships in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.
With the success the auto maker has achieved here in the states, presumabley, the company anticipates equal success Down Under. Infiniti differentiates itself from its competitors by offering "aggressive, modern, and edgy vehicle design", "inexcusably sporty driving dynamics" and a "boutique, hotel-like customer experience". 1
Kevin Snell, Infiniti's Australian general manager remained quiet about prices prior to the brand's re-launch. The only clue he gave was to say that Infiniti, "will not be the cheapest luxury brand"2 and that they will be better equipped than their European competitors.
In Australia, Infiniti will target a more youthful demographic between the ages of 30 and 40. "Infiniti customers are 'quiet rebels'", said Snell. "They're rebellious of the mainstream and are typically looking for something different. They might even be tired of an Audi, BMW or Mercedes their neighbor drives."3
Infiniti's plan of attack in Australia, a market that is notoriously difficult for luxury carmaker's to enter, is long-term. "...The first couple of years will be all about building the brand, customer experience, [separate] retail network, and then we think the sales will come," elaborated Snell. "In our third, fourth, and fifth year, with a broader range of product, national footprint and well-established brand and good reputation, then we'll concentrate on doing decent [sales] volume and start making some inroads."4 By Snell's estimate, there will be around 15-20 national Infiniti Centres in Australia within the next five to ten years.
Stay tuned for more Infiniti news coming soon. Infiniti of Lisle, located at 4325 Lincoln Ave in Lisle, Illinois, is dedicated to keeping you informed.