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Infiniti pledges overall fleet growth during 2016

Date: 18 May 2016   |   Author: Tristan Young

Infiniti is promising growth with both small and large fleets in 2016 through a broader product line-up as well as a new business sales strategy, according to outgoing UK boss Carl Bayliss, speaking ahead of his recent move to become UK network strategy director for Infiniti parent company Nissan.

"When you look outside and see our forecourt of today you can see a depth of products: Q30, QX30, Q50, Q60, QX70," said Bayliss, who is being replaced by former Nissan fleet boss Barry Beeston.

"With that depth comes more customers - whether they're looking for a C-segment [lower medium] hatch or a C-segment SUV, there is something in there now that they can have, which we haven't had historically. And I think that will then develop into our fleet strategy, where we've been down some very traditional fleet channels and stayed quite rigid to those," he continued.

"Now we can expand into either end of the spectrum. That could be daily rental through to brokers. We've got that opportunity now, particularly with some of the powertrains such as the 1.5 diesel. Petrol is not so appealing to a fleet or company car scheme, but there's a tremendous opportunity there for us. So, in a nutshell our fleet strategy is diversification."

Bayliss added that the brand's retailers would handle smaller fleets while the manufacturer would look after larger accounts: "Our role is to deal with the much larger organisations and our partners will be marketing toward local companies and SMEs. This is the way we will approach our fleet customers.

"It isn't a hard and fast line - some of the retail groups will deal with leasing companies too."
Bayliss said user-choosers will select Infiniti because it provides a credible alternative to the mainstream premium brands such as BMW, Audi and Mercedes.

"If we look at our product, that's where we see the clear  differentiation," he stated. "Look our styling and design of our cars, they're unique, they're bold, they're dynamic. And then if you look at the equipment that we have on our cars in terms of business packs, we have a good package for the corporate user.

"We've worked hard to develop a corporate sales strategy for this year. While we know the Q30 will be much more of a car for fleet and retail, and the Q50 [compact executive saloon] will be more a fleet car. our other products are much more retail. We look for a 50:50 mix, but with the Q50 it's a bit higher.

Bayliss continued: "Product awareness for us means that we need to put bums on seats and to do that we are going through daily rental channels, because people wouldn't ordinarily pick us. But if they try it and like it then they will go looking for it when they come to change cars."