South African assumes Infiniti presidency.
The Nissan Motor Company announced today that Johan de Nysschen, the current president of Audi of America, will take over leadership of its premium Infiniti brand. De Nysschen has accepted appointment as senior vice president of the Nissan Motor Company with the responsibility of heading up Infiniti. He will assume his new position beginning on July 1, 2012.
New Global Headquarters
De Nysschen stepped down from Audi last week and will report to Andy Palmer, Nissan’s Executive Vice President in charge of product planning, business strategy, marketing communications and current Infiniti head. Nissan has been aggressively developing Infiniti, having expanded to several new markets this year including the Dominican Republic. Infiniti also opened its new global headquarters in Hong Kong where de Nyssschen will be located.
De Nysschen, 52, has been widely credited with helping Audi regain a foothold in the United States and expand the brand. A South African native, de Nysschen was with Audi for 19 years assuming executive positions in South Africa, Japan and the United States. Prior to his tenure at Audi, he worked for BMW in South Africa.
“We have exciting and ambitious plans for improving the Infiniti brand including introducing new models in all markets where premium customer demand exists,” said Palmer. “Johan is a highly successful global luxury automotive executive and his leadership of Infiniti will be a key factor in realizing the potential of the Infiniti brand,” continued Palmer.
Growing Premium Brand
Nissan would love to do for Infiniti what Volkswagen has done for Audi and that is to raise it to world-class status. Two years ago Audi cracked the 100,000-unit mark in the lucrative U.S. market and has gone from an also-ran to a direct competitor to its German rivals Mercedes-Benz and BMW. At present, Audi command 10 percent of the U.S. luxury market, doubling its share in recent years.
Infiniti’s U.S. sales fell by 4.8 percent in 2011 as the brand lost sales volume following a devastating March 2011 earthquake that damaged its Japanese distribution network. Through May 2012, Infiniti sales are up by 7.2 percent with May’s sales up by more than 65 percent alone.
Photo courtesy of Nissan Motor Co., Ltd.
- Johan de Nysschen Out as Head of Audi USA (blogs.insideline.com)
- Long Wheelbase M Underscores Infiniti’s China Plans (autotrends.org)
- Nissan Breaks Ground on New Plant with Mercedes-Benz; Compact Infiniti Production to Austria (blogs.automotive.com)
- Infiniti May Build EV alongside Nissan Leaf in U.S. (blogs.cars.com)