Infiniti Cars Australia general manager Kevin Snell says the small footprint - both in vehicle range and retail outlets - is an intentional approach to ensure the company can micro-manage its rollout Down Under.
Snell says Infiniti will rely on the performance pedigree of its cars and the brand focus on the "customer experience", including home collection and drop-off of cars that need servicing, to help it stand out in a crowded and competitive prestige market.
"You only get one shot to launch a car brand," Snell says "and we can't afford not to do it properly first time around. We aim to give a point of difference in terms of our customer service and I won't apologise for ensuring we get that right before we go in all guns blazing."
"We'd love to be in Perth and Adelaide (at launch) but the reality is we need to make sure the customer experience is right in our first three stores." Those three dealerships will be run by three of the biggest names in the automitve reatail business. Infiniti has appointed the Suttons Motor Group in Sydney, Penfold Motors in Melbourne and A.P. Eagers in Brisbane.
Snell says Perth and Adelaide outlets will be added by the end of next year but won't reveal how customers in those cities who want to buy a car now will be serviced. "Like the pricing and sales projections, that will have to wait until August," he says.
He also promises Infiniti will rapidly expand its line-up as new models come into the mix. "Between late 2013 and 2016 we'll have six new vehicles," he says. "We absolutely intend to have a full model range - that's the only way we can hit 10 per cent (the global prestige car target for Infiniti)." The launch vehicles include the FX mid-sized SUV with a 3.0-litre V6 turbodiesel, a 3.7-litre petrol V6 and a range-topping 5.0-litre V8. It will be joined by the M sedan, headed by the world's quickest hybrid in the M35h with a 0-100km/h time of 5.5 seconds.