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Infiniti snub for UK dealerships

Infiniti will not launch in the UK with domestic dealer groups.
Instead, Nissan’s premium sister brand has chosen two partners from the Middle East.

The brand will launch in the UK in September to coincide with the opening of its first dealership. 

Construction of the new showroom, at Reading, is already under way as the first step in the development of a UK network.
Talking to AM at the Geneva Motor Show, Infiniti Europe vice-president Jim Wright refused to reveal which companies would be establishing its UK network. 

However, he admitted that Infiniti had chosen two partners “for a long-term commitment”, both from the Gulf and which have been partners with Nissan there for 20 years. Both will recruit UK staff.

It appears UK dealers were not prepared to commit to Infiniti’s high franchise standards as few UK consumers are aware of the brand. It means Infiniti will not meet its stated goal of having 14 dealerships operational by August.

“At the end of the day, it’s about people. From an investor’s point of view it’s about your attitude to risk,” said Wright.

Although the recession has slightly delayed Infiniti’s UK launch – originally set for July – Wright was upbeat and insisted that it is an advantage for the brand to be an unknown in the market.

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