Infiniti Tells Dealers to Expect Sales Gains Thanks to New CUV Model
Infiniti leadership had one message for its franchised dealers when they gathered for the brand’s national retailer meeting earlier this month in Phoenix.
Without hesitation, brand officials declared, “there is no better time to be an Infiniti retailer.”
Part of the reason for Infiniti’s optimism is the brand’s new CUV — the Infiniti JX. Officials hope the model delivers significant sales volume gains.
Ben Poore, vice president of the Infiniti business unit for Nissan North America, highlighted the JX offers best-in-class gas mileage, a new level of safety with back-up collision intervention and more interior room than the Mercedes R350, Acura MDX and Audi Q7.
“The Infiniti JX is poised to dominate one of the largest segments in luxury, accounting for more than one out of every four luxury sales,” Poore emphasized.
Poore also touched out several other topics with Infiniti’s communication’s department:
We are here at the Infiniti National Retailer Meeting in Phoenix. What is the temperature of the group?
Poore: Our dealers, they are very excited. This really is a celebration of the all-new JX. I was just outside with several of them (dealers) who just drove the car. I mean, it’s a product that absolutely hits in the heart of the market: luxury family. This is a place where we’ve never played before so, for them it’s tremendous growth and for us it means tremendous growth. And, the product is just spot-on in all of the aspects of safety, technology, value, I mean it’s got it all so the dealers are extremely fired-up about the future of the brand.
The Infiniti JX start-of-production begins in Smyrna, Tenn. What does this mean to you and the brand?
Poore: This is important. We are going to produce some vehicles here in the U.S. and we’ve made that decision based on the strengthening of the yen. And there is no better place to build than in Smyrna. We know the quality is there, and we know that the quality will be there with the JX. It’s a great opportunity for that plant, for our corporation frankly, to take an Infiniti product, prove our quality here building it in the U.S. and then really having a shorter pipeline to get that out to the marketplace.
What is your outlook for the Infiniti brand in 2012? How will the new Infiniti JX play into the sales plan?
Poore: We expect growth in 2012. In 2011 obviously we had some challenges. Had a tsunami hit us, no one could have ever expected that. Our sales were down about 5 percent, by the way, a little bit better (performance) than our Asian-luxury competitors who were down in sales more than we were. So, we recovered fast, and now in 2012 it’s all about getting on the growth plan again. JX is center of that strategy. JX is all-new and will be all incremental volume for Infiniti. So, through the JX and through continued marketing of our current products, we’re going to get back on a growth path for 2012.
Infiniti has a large presence at the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament this year, what can we expect?