Interview with Francois and Juergen for Infiniti

Interview with Francois Goupil de Bouille, Infiniti vice president, Europe, Middle East and Africa

Why was the Infiniti Q50 Eau Rouge project cancelled? Are there plans for a supercar from Infiniti (similar to the GTR)?
The Q50 Eau Rouge was a prototype, a concept. It wasn't designed to go into production, but when we presented it to the public, it was such a success that we thought of putting it into production. The car wasn't made to be produced and it was difficult to proceed with the project, so we decided that Eau Rouge should remain a prototype. We are interested in performance at Infiniti (we always were), but I will give the details later.

We all know that Infiniti shows diversity in its car segment. Do you have any segment that isn't filled yet?
We still have a lot of things to do. But Infiniti has access to a lot of technology, since the alliance with Renault and Nissan. Now, it is a matter of priority. So, I would say there is no limit, except for the time it takes to be present in more segments; but it's surely coming. We want to be the brand that journalist will love, because we bring new things and innovation.

Did the nomination of your vehicles have any effect on you?
I have to say that it didn't affect us, and it went very well.

Recently we drove the new Infiniti Q30 in Portugal. What do you expect from this vehicle? Do you agree that this segment is full of strong competitors?
It's the automotive business; the engineers are making progress and we want to bring something different to the market - we don't want to compete with the A Class or A3. We want the customer to come and see something different, so they won't be the conservative type.

We have to match the quality of the market, and I think we can be at that level because Japanese culture knows how to handle this situation. If we try to copy what's on the market we fail, so we try to go a different way and present a new product.

Interview with Juergen Schmitz - managing director of Infiniti Middle East

How would you describe Infiniti's overall performance in 2015?
I think we had three key developments: first of all, we are up 20% versus our sales from last year. We are now at 4,000 cars for the first six months of our fiscal year. We are growing much faster than the automotive market - we are growing 8 times quicker, and we now have the highest market share of any Infiniti region in the world. We also had the Q70 introduction in June.

What is the market share you reached this year? Is there an annual figure you can give us? Which country in the Middle East/GCC is in the lead now in terms of sales?
The biggest market is the UAE, second is KSA, as now we are rebuilding the business and Kuwait in absolute terms. Concerning Lebanon, it's on the lower side, but it's a bit unfair because of the size of the market - they have close to 5%. And, the arrival of the Q30 is going to be the key to increasing the market share in Lebanon.

Infiniti is dealing with diverse kinds of products across the Middle East and the GCC region. Are your dealers facing any customer complaints/praises?
We have worked very hard to understand what is connected with customer experience, and no one is perfect. If a customer has a problem, it won't be a problem anymore if you can help him quickly, and we are handling and tackling the problem very efficiently. Infiniti in Kuwait has won in terms of customer satisfaction.

Subscriptions

Raed

Autoshows Calendar

Upcoming Articles

  • Global Drive: 2018 Rolls Royce Phantom
  • Global Drive: 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk
  • Global Drive: 2018 Jaguar XJR575
  • Editors' Choice: Range Rover Velar
  • Editors' Choice: Lexus LC500h
  • Editors' Choice: Peugeot 3008
  • Editors' Choice: Cadillac CT6
  • Special Feature: Renault Zoe Electric