If you didn't hear, Johan de Nysschen -- formerly of Audi -- has been "poached" by Nissan Motors to lead Infiniti.
Although I saw my colleague 009 posted a story last week, I don't think we gave this the proper spotlight it needs.
Let's put things in perspective.
This is a HUGE land for Infiniti. While the brand is far from a failure, it certainly is in dire need of an injection of life. While cars like the G35/37 have put it on the map, it doesn't seem to have lasting power. When I hear folks talk about their dream cars, they don't say "I want an Infiniti."
If there's anyone that is capable of making that change, it's Johan de Nysschen. Remember, he is one of Audi's folks that brought forward the car little boys and girls dream of [the R8].
We've heard before that Infiniti needs a halo car based off of the Nissan GT-R. I mean, Infiniti has to be onto this as well -- why did it build the Essence Concept? Perhaps the Lotus-based Emerg-e will give the brand enough stride in its step to capture the imagination of enthusiasts everywhere.
It certainly has an interesting portfolio of sport utility vehicles. Let's see:
Looking at this lineup, the only SUV that grabs me is the FX. Would you like to see de Nysschen bring elements of the Q3 and Q7 to the EX and JX?
Then there's the performance division, IPL, which bears far too much resemblance to Nissan's NISMO group. It makes the cars about 10 to 20 percent stiffer, throws on HUGE exhaust tips and a body kit.
The point of all this is simple: Infiniti has a decent framework to build off of and it is finally in good hands. How do I know this?
Johan was one of the leaders behind a staid, uncertain Audi and he turned it into today's "IT" brand. And, from what the Agents can see, it hasn't left yet.
So, that leaves us with two questions:
1) If you're in Hong Kong in de Nysschen's shoes -- what's your first move?
2) Does Infiniti have the potential to take down the big guns and become the next BIG "IT" brand?