Infiniti plans brand overhaul and new design

The push will center on the upcoming launch of the redesigned QX80 large SUV, which gets big luxury upgrades to assert its role as the flagship of Nissan Motor Co.’s premium brand.

The campaign is part of a three-phase company transformation that Nissan Motor Co. CEO Makoto Uchida tasked Kargar with undertaking when Kargar was appointed Infiniti’s global brand boss in June 2020.

The first stage focused on recovery and stabilization and wrapped up in March with record profitability for the Infiniti business on a global level, Kargar said. Infiniti has now entered phase two, which centers on the brand renewal and expansion. The project will run through March 31, 2026.

Kargar, who until now has not spoken publicly about his three-step business plan, said the brand revamp will reignite steady growth for Infiniti after two years of significant sales contraction.

It will also set the stage for electrification and possibly entry into new segments.

“We have a healthy base today, and we are ready for more growth,” Kargar told Automotive News. “We are going to grow from this year, and year after year.”

Kargar declined to discuss his sales targets, saying only that he wants steady, sustainable growth. Chasing volume, he said, is what initially tipped Infiniti into trouble with a depleted product line and tumbling turnover.

The brand was then throttled by the COVID-19 outbreak and the global semiconductor shortage.

Its global sales plunged 55 percent to 84,830 vehicles last year, from 188,990 in 2019 before the pandemic. U.S. sales, the bulk of total volume, fell by half to 58,553 vehicles over that period.

“There is a need to be consistent and sustainable in the future,” the chairman said.

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