Posts Tagged ‘andy palmer’

Infiniti Boss Johan de Nysschen Departs as Sales Grow

Posted by Stephen On Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

Former Infiniti boss Johan de Nysschen

After just two brief years as the president of Infiniti Motor Co., boss Johan de Nysschen has officially resigned. He personally handed his letter of resignation to Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn approximately one week ago, and will leave by the end of the month.

Stefan Weinmann, Infiniti’s general manager of global communications, told The Wall Street Journal a bit more about what prompted de Nysschen’s departure. He bluntly explains that, “He left to pursue other opportunities. We have started to search for a successor.”

What “other opportunities” could Weinmann be talking about?

Turns out, the former Infiniti president is moving over to General Motors as the head of their premium brand, Cadillac. That’s right; the former Audi boss got poached again. He’d apparently been disgruntled under Ghosn from the start, quoted early in his employment as saying that the Nissan CEO’s goal of 500k premium car sales by 2020 was entirely unrealistic.

So, what does this mean for Nissan’s luxury arm?

Right now, not much. Nissan CPO Andy Palmer will take over the reins at Infiniti until a suitable replacement can be found. More importantly, Nissan is still confident about the brand’s future, stating, “We’re convinced that [Infiniti] has a very promising future and Johan’s departure doesn’t change that potential.” An analyst from Macquarie Securities named Janet Lewis also told WSJ that the loss of de Nysschen shouldn’t have any effect on the company’s performance.

At this point, you might be curious about what Johan de Nysschen accomplished during his time at Infiniti. In short, he helped, but he still had more to do.

2014 Infinti Q50

Infiniti’s US sales are still an unsolved problem, as Infiniti continues to lose market share to the likes of Audi and Lexus. However, international sales are growing enough to make up for it, with the biggest sales potential coming from China. The new Infiniti Q50 has been an especially huge hit there, making up 50% of the brand’s total sales since its launch at the beginning of 2014. Just a week ago, before his resignation went public, de Nysschen estimated that they could quadruple their sales in China by the end of 2016.

In the end, there’s nothing to be worried about. Both Carlos Ghosn and Andy Palmer have had a hand in Infiniti’s direction since before de Nysschen ever joined the force, and they’ll continue to do so into the future. And so Infiniti will continue to launch all the new products that have planned for the next couple years. They’ll continue to expand production to new markets like China, and they’ll continue to make profitable joint ventures with luxury titans like Mercedes. The only thing we have to worry about is who will step in next to boost Infiniti’s progress in the right direction.


Nissan Previews Possible New GT-R in Gran Turismo 6

Posted by Stephen On Wednesday, June 11th, 2014

It wasn’t too long ago that Mitsubishi used the upcoming Gran Turismo 6 PlayStation 3 racing game as a platform to debut their newest racing concept. However, while Mitsubishi’s concept is unlikely to make it out of the digital world, Nissan’s newly unveiled contribution to the GT6 Vision garage could very well make it to production. Of course, it’s possible that even if it’s manufactured, it’ll remain a track-only vehicle, but early rumors indicate something more.

Let’s start by looking at the teaser below:

Nissan Vision GT Teaser

Even though this is a vague and artistic image, it actually tells us a lot about Nissan’s contribution to GT6. In fact, it might even tell us too much; this mystery car has been rumored to be everything from the brand’s next WRC racer to their new LMP1 prototype or even the next commercial GT-R.

Personally, we believe that the image above previews the next Nissan GT-R. It might not be the mass-production version we’ll eventually see on the streets; perhaps instead it’s a racing-only version, like the upcoming Nissan R36 GT-R we discussed a week or two ago as Nissan’s return to Le Mans racing.

Whatever it is, though, there is clearly some level of production intent. After all, why else would Andy Palmer, Nissan Vice President, tweet the question “Think it’s worth coming to Goodwood?” with the teaser image? Clearly Nissan are planning this to have some carry-over to the real world. We already knew that Honda was planning to bring their NSX to the Goodwood Festical of Speed, so why wouldn’t Nissan bring some competition in the form of their next GT-R?

One of the most noteworthy aspects of the darkened teaser image Nissan has provided us with is the peculiar front-end, unlike anything we’ve seen from them up to this point. The image shows a car with a shortened front-clip with colossal air vents and a very prominent front spoiler. The way that the vents on both the front and side seem to dip into the middle of the car could possibly suggest a mid-engine layout, which offers a highly favorable weight distribution for excellent rear-wheel traction. Let’s cross our fingers that this is the case.

In the end, all we know for sure is that this car – whatever it may be – is the next in a long line of Nissan contributions to Gran Turismo. In fact, did you know that the first GT-R was originally introduced to international drivers through the Gran Turismo video game, decades ago? This explains why it actually makes contextual sense for Nissan to use this platform to launch the next GT-R, if that’s what it turns out to be.

Either way, the one thing that Nissan has promised is that “all will be revealed” next Monday, June 16th. So, stay tuned until then for the full scoop.

In the meantime, thanks for reading!