Infiniti: New executive model heralds fresh fleet focus
13 August 2012
Fledgling premium brand Infiniti is to commence a serious charm offensive on the business car market with the launch of a fleet-orientated version of its M35h executive saloon.
The M35h Business will launch in the autumn, based on the well-specced GT trim level but with the addition of satnav, which the firm claimed is £1800 of additional kit.
"From a fleet and business perspective, the M35h was our big breakthrough product last year, and you'll see a business-focused M35h in the next couple of months," Infiniti regional director Tony Lewis told BusinessCar.
"The M35h is a very highly specced car and the Business edition is trying to address that sector of the fleet market, and come with integrity."
The brand is still seeking to establish itself in the UK, a status that is the primary focus ahead of the launch of the new upper medium G model line, coming by the end of next year.
The car will be revealed in the early part of 2013, and Lewis is hoping for a big impact: "We have a relatively conservative estimate for that car as a business, but I don't - I think it will make quite an impact.
We're not banking on the car as a business, it's a building block but a significant one." The BMW 3-series rival will be the first Infiniti to benefit from an engine deal with Daimler to use Mercedes' four-cylinder petrol and diesel units.
Around 40% of Infiniti sales in this financial year have been into the corporate sector, and the firm has been working hard to establish and reinforce relationships with the top leasing companies in order to exploit potential corporate opportunities.
"From January this year our first focus was to make sure there is a clarity to the brand and product range in the contract hire and leasing industry," said Infiniti's UK fleet boss Simon Lewis.
"It doesn't matter what you do with customers if you haven't established the product with contract hire and leasing. Each meeting was followed by a demo programme and the feedback has been really gratifying."
But ahead of that, the M35h Business edition is the car designed to kick-off the all-important moves into the business car market. "M Business will expand where we can get this car into," concluded Tony Lewis.
"It's up to us to continue to promote ourselves and talk to more customers, expand the dealers and increase awareness."
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