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Infiniti takes some UK dealerships in-house

Date: 09 December 2014   |   Author:

Infiniti has taken direct control of five of its nine dealerships in the UK after Mana Premier and Rymco made the decision to concentrate on "other operations".

Rymco and Mana Premier were the first dealer groups to open Infiniti showrooms in the UK with sites in Reading, Birmingham, Stockport, Leeds and Glasgow. These dealerships are now under the control of Infiniti Retail through a wholly-owned subsidiary of Nissan.

SME and user-chooser customers can expect to deal directly with Infiniti at those retail dealerships.

Infiniti is still working with dealer groups at sites in St Albans, Norwich, Newcastle and Hull.

Francois Goupil de Bouillé, vice president for Infiniti Europe, Middle East and Africa said: "This is a change that reflects Infiniti's commitment to establishing the brand and its products in the UK and in Europe overall. It is another building block of our business model."

The Infiniti Retail centres will be run by new managing director Brendan Norman on January 1. Norman will be report directly to Goupil de Bouillé.

Norman, currently general manager sales operations, Infiniti EMEA said: "Having direct control will bring us closer to our customers and allow us to adapt quickly in the fast-changing retail and digital environment.

"We have many exciting plans for Infiniti Retail and I look forward to disclosing some of these steps in the not so distant future."

Staff in the dealerships will transfer to the new Infiniti Retail business, which the company says will provide stability for customers.

Infiniti fleet sales

Infiniti has had a slow start since launching in the UK in 2008 with the brand yet to break 1000 sales in a full year. However, the business has made progress this year with 667 registrations year-to-date at the end of November, compared to 365 units last year.

Infiniti increased the amount of fleet demonstrators to help boost corporate sales last year and focussed on building a more robust national sales company in the UK to facilitate higher sales.

Infiniti's fleet sales catalyst has in part been the 129g/km 2.2-litre diesel engine for the upper medium Q50 model, with the same engine going into the executive saloon Q70 early next year, before the big arrival of the UK-built lower medium Q30 before the end of 2015.