It’s hardly surprising, given the background of Infiniti President Johan de Nysschen (who was formerly President, Audi of Americas), but today Nissan’s luxury brand announced it had acquired a further two scalps from its German rival.
Fintan Knight, who was formerly Commercial Director and Member of the Board of Management at Automobili Lamborghini, has joined Infiniti as its VP of Brand Operations for Europe, Middle East, Africa and India.
While Ian Bolin, formerly Audi of America’s Head of Strategy joins Infiniti as its Chief Transformation Officer. Over a 13-year career at VAG, where he was also responsible for Audi’s business in the South African market, Bolin worked in both dealer-facing and corporate roles.
He began his career with Rolls-Royce & Bentley Motors and will report directly to de Nysschen.
Knight is another premium sector veteran, having begun his career with BMW in Australia.
Both new appointments displace their predecessors, who’ve moved out of Infiniti and back into parent company Nissan.
So, it looks like de Nysschen is assembling his old team from Audi and coming after the Germans with a tried and tested formula. Expect further gutsy moves from de Nysschen as he moves to triple global sales to 500,000 units a year by 2017.
Infiniti gets serious about the Q50
You know the story: car maker wants to show how serious it is about the dynamic performance of its cars, so it wheels out current/ex Formula One drivers to add that touch of magic to.. their PR material.
We tend to take such promise with a pinch of salt, after all, how much time and input did they really have from Sebastian Vettel and what does a 25-year old racing driver (albeit a three-time world champion) know about road cars?
No doubt, considerably more than you or I, but once the Q50 goes on sale this summer the bluffing will be over and Infiniti will have nowhere to hide. Looks promising though, doesn’t it?