GENEVA, Switzerland – Speech by Johan de Nysschen
President, INFINITI Motor Company Ltd.:
Good morning ladies and gentlemen and welcome to the INFINITI stand here in Geneva.
Geneva 2013 is a significant step in our journey to expand our success beyond the US and become a global player in the premium automotive sector.
Nowhere is the premium market more competitive than right here in Europe. It is a market where INFINITI feels right at home.
INFINITI is a young company, not yet 25 years old. And we are younger still here in Europe where this show marks our fifth anniversary.
At INFINITI our vision is clear – to secure permanent membership in the exclusive club of global premium automotive brands; a club that is today dominated by German brands. We are not interested in the mega millions sales race.
No – we want to honor the original concept of exclusivity. An aspirational, not easily obtained brand, with renowned product substance. We will be known globally as a specialist provider of premium design and craftsmanship, relevant performance, innovative technology and of course, unrivalled Japanese hospitality.
INFINITI is now represented in nearly 50 countries worldwide and our global sales rose by 17 per cent last year. We are anticipating another year of double-digit growth in 2013.
While growth is obviously important to us, I want to emphasize it is a means to an end, not an end in itself.
Quality of the business is more important than quantity.
North America remains our biggest market followed by China, where we continue to grow, with Russia being our third biggest market.
European drivers have exacting demands and needs. And that's one reason why Europe will soon become a manufacturing location for INFINITI.
A new premium compact INFINITI will be built at Sunderland in the UK and when it arrives in 2015 it will introduce the brand to a whole new sector of the market. A car for Europe built in Europe.
Our growth will be underpinned by strengthening our range and broadening our model portfolio, expanding into new markets and building on our success in existing ones.
Another key ingredient to our expansion is our alliance partner Daimler AG which embraces shared platform development, new automatic transmissions and joint engine production.
Today is the first opportunity Europe has had to see the newest INFINITI, the exciting Q50 sports sedan.
It's the first to show our new naming strategy, too: all new sedans and convertibles will wear a Q badge while crossovers and SUVs will carry a QX badge. The change reflects our future product offensive as we dramatically expand our line-up, and recognizes where we came in: the very first INFINITI, back in 1989 in the US, was the Q45.
Q50 embodies everything that INFINITI stands for: passionate, emotive design, meticulous craftsmanship, precise performance and the highest levels of intuitive technology.
The design shows a new direction for our sports sedans. Lower and wider proportions give a more athletic stance while the INFINITI signatures are the ‘double arch' grille, dynamic arch silhouette while the headlights evoke the shape of the human eye.
The interior combines premium hospitality with class-leading roominess. The double wave cockpit design contains advanced telematics in the shape of the intelligent INFINITI InTouch system.
INFINITI InTouch features large dual touch-screen displays and puts communication with the outside world within easy reach, with integration of hands-free phone, moving map navigation, entertainment and smart phone apps in a way that is safe and easy-to-use while driving.
In keeping with our raft of technological advances, the Q50 also features extensive use of lightweight High Tensile strength steel.
This contributes significantly to weight saving overall helping to improve fuel consumption, whilst making the vehicle structurally stronger and thus improving occupant safety.
Speaking of structural rigidity, the very high standard attained in the Q50 platform also facilitates some of the tightest shut lines in the business.
The minimal body panel gaps are tangible evidence of the precision of INFINITI fit and finish.
And for Europe, one of the most significant elements of the new Q50 can be found under the bonnet.
Ladies and gentlemen, it gives me great pleasure to reveal the new diesel-powered INFINITI Q50 sports sedan.
Q50 DIESEL REVEAL
This new diesel boasts 170PS and an outstanding 400Nm of torque. This is matched by strong fuel efficiency with less than 115g/km CO2.
But, of course, we haven't forgotten absolute performance. The flagship Q50 sports sedan will be an advanced V6 petrol-electric hybrid capable of 0-100km/h in around 5 seconds.
Is there room for yet more new technology? Yes, Q50 offers you even more - such as Direct Adaptive Steering – a world first for a production vehicle.
The system transmits the driver's intentions to the wheels faster than a mechanical system. It also increases the direct driving performance feel by intelligently communicating road surface feedback to the driver.
Performance has always been at the heart of the INFINITI brand, and that's something celebrated by our relationship with the most successful team in Formula 1, INFINITI Red Bull Racing.
And I'm delighted to introduce one of the architects of that success to you today. Ladies and gentlemen, please join me in welcoming INFINITI Red Bull team principal Christian Horner (leads applause).
Christian – with less than two weeks to go to the opening round of the 2013 Formula One season, everyone at INFINITI would like to wish the team well in your pursuit of a fourth consecutive set of world titles.
Besides INFINITI being the title partner of Red Bull Racing from the 2013 season, INFINITI has also strengthened the technical ties between the parties. It is a symbiotic technical program aimed at developing new technologies for mutual benefits on the road and the track.
We are looking at co-operation in the fields of materials science, energy recovery and storage systems, even paint technology.
The Q50 has benefitted considerably from the partnership. Three-time world champion Sebastian Vettel has been part of the development of the car at our Tochigi Proving Ground while test driver and local Swiss hero Sebastien Buemi has covered hundreds of miles in the Q50 at the infamous Nordschleife.
As for the team's contribution to Q50 you will be able to discover that for yourselves in the summer when press drives are held.
Now, though, it's time for you to take a closer look at the car itself to see how Q50 is shaping our brand direction and our future.
And now, I would like to invite our Chief Creative Officer, Shiro Nakamura, and Christian, on stage for the photo call. Thank you.
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