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Towards the end of autonomous Infiniti dealerships in Canada?

In order to allow its dealerships to reduce their operating costs, the management of Nissan Canada will allow owners of Infiniti dealership consolidate their operations and sell Infiniti models through their Nissan dealerships.

Nissan’s luxury brand Infiniti has always struggled to establish itself in the realm of luxury vehicles. While we were being sold the image of a dynamic and sporty brand, it is ironically the QX60, a 7-passenger family SUV, that has dominated the brand’s sales in recent years, relinquishing its title to the QX50. new generation more recently.

While Infiniti sales hit an all-time low in 2020 with a total of 5,783 vehicles compared to 12,581 in 2018, Automotive News reported that Management is reviewing its strategy and would allow its 37 Infiniti dealerships in Canada to abandon their luxury stand-alone point of sale in order to combine sales of Infiniti branded models in a single building.

It will be remembered that Nissan has spared no effort over the past decade to allow owners of Nissan dealerships to invest heavily and build new independent dealerships for the sale of Infiniti models. The manufacturer wanted to offer a more upscale shopping experience and, above all, to better distinguish its luxury vehicles from other mass models from Nissan. However, several had decided to keep only one building for the sale of the two brands, a wise decision in the circumstances.

The information was communicated to Automotive News in an interview with Steve Rhind, director of the Infiniti brand in Canada. The latter mentioned that the intention is to allow the dealerships to reduce their operating costs by combining the sales and operations activities of the two brands in a single building. Rhind, however, mentioned that consolidation is not mandatory, without however mentioning how many dealers will choose to take advantage of it.

The latter also mentions that buying habits are changing, that online sales are becoming more and more popular and, again according to reports, that dealers want new approaches in the way they sell vehicles. Would some be tempted to sell only online?

The news does not only make people happy
The news is not, however, only happy. Some dealers have mentioned that this change will require new investments in order to create within their Nissan dealership new sales and service spaces dedicated to the luxury brand, in addition to ending up with an empty building. Daniel Beaucage, president of Groupe Beaucage, told Automotive News that he did not intend to close his Infiniti dealership in Sherbrooke, mentioning that the operation would be far too expensive.

Some also mention that the new products were slow to arrive, and that the marketing of the new generation of 2022 Infiniti QX60 would be too little too late.

Regardless, this is a clear sign that the brand has great challenges to overcome at home, and that the success of future models will be essential to its survival.

No one at Nissan / Infinit was available to comment on the news.

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