Autocar spoke to Infiniti Europe vice president, Jim Wright, to find out a little more about the firm’s plans. The key battlefield for Infiniti is market-leading customer service, says the straight-talking Scot. Wright won’t go quite as far as saying “we’re going to out-Lexus Lexus”, instead promising “a significant stand-out offering that no-one else currently has.”Key details are yet to be decided, but to match Lexus, Infiniti will have to offer a 60,000-mile warranty and full European RAC breakdown cover for the first three years and extended maintenance intervals for expensive items like cam-belts, currently 90,000 miles on some Lexus engines.Owners will need to be pampered at hand-over and service time, too. A new Lexus is handed over with favourite radio stations and phone contacts programmed in, for example.The foundation of Infiniti’s class-leading customer service in the UK will be a completely new network of dealers featuring striking interior design, modelled on sites already open for business in Russia.The UK network will mirror Porsche’s strategy of out-of-town sites on major trunk routes in the suburbs of major cities and will be rolled out across the UK gradually from 2008.A single dealer group will shortly be appointed UK distributor.
All the new Infinitis
October 2008 - G37 Saloon and Coupe
A sporty BMW 3-series competitor powered by a 3.7-litre V6 driving the rear wheels. Rave press reviews in US rate the G35 as superior to the BMW 330i. Coupe is snappily-styled two-door variant.
October 2008 - new FX 4x4
The 2008 Geneva motor show next year will be the location for the launch of Infiniti’s flagship 4x4. The dramatically styled, coupe-look FX is tipped to become even more futuristic. Engines will be V6 and V8 petrols.
Early 2010 - new 3.0-litre V6 diesel
Until Europe gets this all-new Renault/Nissan oil-burner, Inifiniti will struggle in sales charts. Expect 250bhp, Euro5 emissions and low C02/fuel consumption. Nissan recently unveiled an experimental V6, a test-bed for the in-line installation in Infiniti.
2011 - new M45
Infiniti’s 5-series challenger will be re-tooled for the end of the decade. Expect more radical styling, V6 and V8 petrols; and a V6 diesel.