Mana Premiere Automobiles (MPA) has opened a new Infiniti showroom in Leeds, its fourth in the group’s network.
MPA is a privately-owned company established in 2009 it plans to add six more dealerships to its portfolio within the next three years.
Bernard Loire, vice president Infiniti Europe and Middle East, said: “This is the second Infiniti centre to open in the UK within a month and is a milestone in the brand’s development.
“The UK is a key market for the growth of Infiniti and our ambition to take one in 10 luxury car sales across Europe by 2016. To achieve that we will need around 40 Infiniti centres in the UK in 2016 and thanks to partners like MPA we are on course to achieve that.”
MPA represents a first move into the UK automotive business by parent company, Qatar-based Saleh Alhamad Al Mana Co which has retailed cars since 1962 in countries of the GCC (Gulf Co-operation Council) region which includes Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Today the group has a billion dollar turnover, 2,000 employees and interests in the hotel, engineering and food sectors, as well as running Infiniti, Nissan and Renault dealerships in the GCC region.
Lisa Ford, MPA operations director, is a former Mercedes-Benz retail director and general manager with HR Owen in London.
Ford said: “Our philosophy is a simple one: customers are for life. At our Infiniti Centres we look after them not solely with welcoming surroundings, but with a deep understanding of our products and their needs.
“By modeling our customer service on standards in the hospitality industry, not on those in the automotive sector, we offer a genuinely different luxury car experience. Feedback from customers so far has been incredibly positive.”
Ford, who joined MPA in February 2011, said Infiniti Centre Leeds would be offering a welcome to everyone on equal terms.
“As a female, I know how daunting it can be to go into a male-dominated luxury car showroom, but the feeling here will be utterly different, just as it is at MPA’s other Infiniti Centres in Stockport, Glasgow and Birmingham. We are having special junior versions of Infiniti furniture made so not even the children feel left out.”
Extended test drives and a ban on service advisors are other ideas MPA is introducing.
Ford said cars would be available for as long as someone wanted, while owners deal only with their personal technician – the person who actually works on their car – in a system which Infiniti says promotes “trust and avoids misunderstanding”.
Infiniti Centre Leeds is situated in Domestic Road, close to Elland Road home of Leeds FC and a mile from Junction 2 of the M621. Infiniti’s motoring neighbours in the area include Bentley, Mercedes-Benz, and Porsche.
“Our goal is to be the number one Infiniti Centre in Europe,” said centre manager George Fitzpatrick, who joins Infiniti from Mercedes-Benz.
“With the team, the location, the building and the Infiniti range I can’t see any reason why we can’t achieve that.
“The FX will do well here, and we have been getting a very positive reaction from fleet buyers to the M35h hybrid.”
Ford said: “It is a fiercely competitive market right now but we are at the beginning of a long and successful relationship with Infiniti.
“MPA is passionate about the brand and proud that we can meet the incredibly high standards Infiniti sets. We intend to take a pivotal role in establishing Infiniti in the UK.”