"We are thrilled to have Infiniti in South Africa and we are confident that it will be as successful here as it is in many other regions around the world," says Mike Whitfield, Managing Director of Nissan South Africa.
Founded in 1989 and initially launched in the United States, Infiniti has seen exponential growth over the years and continues to expand around the world. The South African introduction comes hot on the heels of launches in Indonesia, Panama and Malaysia with Singapore, the Dominican Republic, Australia, Hong Kong and Chile next on the list.
Vice President of Infiniti Europe, Middle East India and Africa, Bernard Loire is positive about the brand's local introduction: "We are very pleased that Infiniti is making in-roads into Africa as part of our global expansion and foresee a very positive acceptance from South African buyers who favor style, luxury and performance. In addition to our products, 'Infiniti Hospitality' will provide South African customers with a new experience."
Five Infiniti model lines will be available from the end of June 2012, through dealers located in Hatfield, Pretoria and Melrose in Johannesburg. Additional Infiniti Centers in Durban and Cape Town will be operational in the last quarter of this year, with a 10-dealer network planned for 2014.
In South Africa, Infiniti will be further strengthened by Infiniti Financial Services, which will focus on vehicle finance in the luxury market and offer innovative products and services to both companies and individuals.
The range for South Africa comprises the new Infiniti M luxury sedan (M30d), Infiniti FX performance SUV (FX30d, FX37 and FX50), Infiniti EX compact SUV (EX30d and EX37), Infiniti G Coupe (G37) and Infiniti G Cabrio (G37). A range of V6 and V8 petrol engines and V6 diesel engines linked to a 7-speed automatic transmission are available across the range.
A petrol-powered derivative of the Infiniti M luxury saloon, the M37, will be introduced later in 2012 and the technologically advanced Infiniti M35h performance hybrid is currently under consideration for the South African market.
"Infiniti delivers a unique combination of peace of mind, hospitality and driving pleasure. Our tagline of 'Inspired Performance' illustrates that Infiniti cars are so much more than machines that move you from one place to another," continues Whitfield. "Infiniti has an emotional, inspirational appeal, offering a very personal style of modern luxury for people inspired by originality and design who seek enriching experiences."
Whitfield says Infiniti's service philosophy is a core part of the brand's DNA: "For Infiniti, it is always about the unwavering commitment we make to our customers. The Infiniti 'Total Ownership Experience' is part of that promise and it is founded on three pillars. The first is driving pleasure. Second is our hospitality - we want our guests to feel comfortable and this is always presented in a luxurious and inviting environment. The third pillar is peace of mind. We believe that every customer should enjoy outstanding service throughout their Infiniti ownership, and be able to count on knowledgeable people who are committed to ensuring their satisfaction - this is what we will be delivering to Infiniti owners here in South Africa."