Nissan's Infiniti and beyond

LONDON - Japanese car manufacturer Nissan is to launch its long-awaited Infiniti luxury marque in the UK this week.

The cars will go on sale on 12 September, when the first Infiniti Centre opens in Reading, Berkshire.

A further 10 dealerships will open in locations including central London, Birmingham, Leeds, Glasgow and Belfast during the coming 18 months.

The opening marks the culmination of more than a year of speculation over whether Nissan would go ahead with the UK launch, given the tough environment facing car manufacturers worldwide.

Infiniti's first UK ad campaign will coincide with the opening of the Reading dealership.

The ads, by Nissan's incumbent agency TBWA, will alert consumers to the UK launch, with a focus on its FX and G Coupe models.

Ads will carry the strapline ‘The same is not the same', to emphasise that the marque is distinct from competitors in the luxury sector, such as Bentley and Jaguar.

Press and outdoor executions are set to run in the South-East of England, backed by digital and direct marketing activity.

Media planning and buying is being handled by OMD, while TMW has produced a series of digital ads. The campaign has been overseen by Infiniti Europe advertising manager Louise Everett.

Although Nissan is serious about breaking Infiniti in the UK, and believes it will become the marque's biggest European market, Infiniti Europe marketing director Bastien Schupp is adamant that it will avoid TV advertising to maintain a sense of exclusivity.

Dealers will also be allocated a sizeable chunk of the brand's marketing budget to run experiential events to target local prospects.

Infiniti is swift to swat away any criticism of sales, saying it sets itself ‘modest' first-year targets. The question is whether it can ever wrestle sales from devotees of British and European marques with a grander heritage.


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