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Audi's Former U.S. Boss Heads To Infiniti


Johan de Nysschen

Johan de Nysschen

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Johan de Nysschen, who last Friday announced his resignation as head of Audi of America, will be headed to rival luxury automaker Infiniti as a senior vice president of its worldwide business.

In his new role, de Nysschen will report to Nissan’s executive vice president for the Infiniti brand, Andy Palmer.  As Automotive News (subscription required) explains, de Nysschen will be based out of Infiniti’s new global headquarters, located in Hong Kong.

De Nysschen will step into the new role on July 1, and the move clarifies what Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn was hinting at last month when he referred to Infiniti naming a new global chief to expand the luxury brand’s presence worldwide.

Andy Palmer echoed Ghosn’s sentiments, saying, “Johan is a highly successful global luxury automotive executive and his leadership of Infiniti will be a key factor in realizing the potential of the Infiniti brand.”

In 2011, Infiniti sold some 150,000 vehicles worldwide, but by 2017 has plans to hit 500,000 unit sales annually. Doing so will require the right mix of products and markets, and de Nysschen will also be tasked with raising transaction prices to rival German competitors and boost Infiniti’s bottom line.

While de Nysschen delivered results for Audi, growing market share from 5.3 percent to 10 percent in the U.S., it wasn’t without controversy. He’s perhaps best known for his comments on the series hybrid Chevrolet Volt, which he called a “car for idiots” due to its high cost and modest performance.
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  1. Hopefully this new chief can instill some actually luxury and quality into Infiniti cars.
     
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