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From Here to Infiniti! - Improve Quality Or Else

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From Mac Gordon
Michigan Bureau
The Auto Channel


Detroit May 31, 2013; Infiniti's ex-VW/Audi German Sr. V.P. Johan de Nysschen has been pressured by top CEO Carlos Ghosn to boost Infiniti quality among top three premium brands-or risk a shakeup (who are the top three in quality?) would you believe BMW, Mercedes and Volkswagen Passat.

Impatient as always, Ghosn wants to surmount initial assembly quality ratings-How can this be done as soon as Ghosn wants (like 1-1-2014)

Not even Infiniti's hub at Japan's Tochigi plant can deliver Ghosn's quality prize ASAP 1-1-14-Carlos Ghosn appears ready to implement another “unless shakeout.”

With de Nysschen taking another hit, De Nysschen's first involuntary exit was passed along by Wolfsburg four years ago-Infiniti doesn't deserve this treatment-It's been a great brand since the 1990 launch as Nissan's upscale sibling.

Launched in the same year as Toyota's premier brand, Lexus came into existence as an upscale co-player with Nissan's Infiniti brand; separate dedicated showrooms, furnished to a fare-the-well and destined to rival Lexus in “everything” but performance-a supercharged V-8 engine and generous markups have given Infiniti an an instant cachet like Lexus.

That Lexus jumped out of the starting gate behind Infiniti came as a surprise, but shouldn't have. Uptrades from Toyota's Lexus brand were easier to consummate than Infiniti from Nissan-and still are.

For reasons of sheer quality, Infiniti was suspect in Japan from the very beginning of the two upscale role models-whereas Lexus enjoyed CPO tradeups like a BMW 5-series from 3-series with nary a pen stroke. Lexus still is a No. 1 pre-owned target-bar none!