Work begins on first dealership, but initial sales predictions remain modest
26 March 2009

Japanese premium automotive brand Infiniti is on course to open its first UK showroom in September 2009, despite the economic downturn.

The brand’s first dealership will be on a site on the outskirts of Reading, where building work is already under way.

A smaller boutique dealership close to Sloane Square in London, will augment the firm’s UK distribution later in 2009, and a further 11 sites, covering Birmingham, Manchester, Bristol, Leeds, Glasgow and other UK centres of population, should be open by mid-2011.

Strict rules governing the look and feel of the showrooms will be applied to ensure consistency. In an unusual move, they will be glazed in frosted glass to tempt customers to enter rather than simply looking as they drive by.

Infiniti expects UK sales to start slowly - it is forecasting just 2000 units for 2010 - but volume should swell when the firm’s forthcoming V6 diesel engine comes in with the new M-series executive saloon.

The diesel engine will also be offered in the FX and EX SUVs, but not in the current G-series compact saloon, coupe and coupe-cabriolet models, which are due to be replaced 2012.

Matt Saunders

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