Infiniti, which claims to be Nissan’s “premium performance niche brand”, is making a concerted effort to court “industry influencers” and value guide executives to establish credibility among corporate buyers before sales in the UK begin next April.

The Geneva-based European operation has appointed Emmanuel Bussiere as corporate sales director as it launches a five-year programme of gaining acceptance in the market that began with a media spectacular at the Geneva motor show.

Angus Gray, Infiniti’s North Europe regional director, admitted: “We have one chance of launching this brand properly, and we are uncompromising in the quality of service we provide with modest volume ambitions and not trying to be all things to all people.”

Gray said the initial four-model launch range would “naturally find its way on to contract hire lists, and we are putting a lot of work into talking to industry influencers and residual value people. These cars will be bought predominantly by owner-driver professionals with company money. Our customers will be treated like kings.”

Gray added: “In the early days when we don’t have so many customers the amount of time devoted to each owner or driver is significantly higher than the opposition.”

European vice president James Wright believed low volumes would also help establish strong RVs, while both he and Gray hoped that the North American experience, where Infiniti customers are on average 11 years younger than their Lexus counterparts, would apply to the UK. Infiniti is planning a network of 14 metropolitan sites.

Wright predicted the UK would support 7000 sales a year within five years. He said: “Our nominal fleet audience will be the one-man, two-men or 10-men band people who want originals rather than copies.”