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Nissan faces challenge building Infiniti brand

Nissan Motor Company faces a long, slow and expensive process to establish its Infiniti brand in the UK and the rest of Europe, according to Professor Garel Rhys, of Cardiff Business School. The brand will come to the UK in 2008.

“It is taking on Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Audi, the strongest part of the Europe motor industry,” says Rhys.

“It must follow the same template as Lexus, which gradually and cleverly built its product range and reputation.”

Infiniti was launched in the US in 1989, the year Toyota Motor invented the Lexus brand to take on the German trio, and it is only recently that Lexus has been accepted as a genuine rival. By its 2008 UK launch, Infiniti will have the 2007 model year G35, a European-styled competitor for the 3-series, C-class and A4.

Carlos Ghosn, Nissan president and chief executive officer, says the decision to invest heavily in Infiniti made it America’s fastest growing luxury brand.

A Nissan Motor GB spokesman says: “We are still working on how Infiniti cars will be retailed in the UK. We have observed VW and Toyota, but Infiniti has its own strengths, and we will have our own way of selling the cars.”

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