This is an exclusive preview of the 2016 edition of Mexico Automotive Review. If you want to get all the information, plus other relevant insights regarding the Mexican automotive industry, get your copy of Mexico Automotive Review 2016.
Article based on exclusive interview with Philipp Heldt, Managing Director of Infiniti Mexico and Latin America.
Q: What role has financing played in Infiniti’s development in the Mexican market?
A: In general, financing is fueling market growth in Mexico. There is increasing credit availability in the premium segment, and a considerable part of our market growth is driven by this option. Our captive company, Infiniti Financial Services as part of NR Finance Mexico, is actually the number one financing corporation in the country. Leveraging on the size and experience of our company has resulted in truly competitive financing and leasing conditions for our clients.
Within our financing services, leasing has also become an important part of our operations. At the moment, corporate clients are the main users of this product, and set by its attractive conditions it has also developed smoothly in the retail segment.
Q: Considering Infiniti’s expansion of its distribution network, how are you improving your services in terms of sales and aftersales operations?
A: Four years ago, we began operations with five dealerships: three in Mexico City (Polanco, Pedregal and Interlomas), Monterrey and Guadalajara. Then we expanded to Merida, Leon and Puebla. Last year we added one more dealership in Chihuahua. Our nine Infiniti Centers in the country allowing us to cover almost 80% of the potential market in the premium segment, although we see opportunity to reach that extra 20%.
The premium segment dealer network we have established is state-of-the-art. The Chihuahua dealership is now featuring our ‘2.0 global standard’, which gives the impression of being in a top-star hotel rather than a vehicle dealership. This aspect, combined with our customer hospitality, give us an extra edge over our competitors and creates the best atmosphere and showrooms to get a car.
Our aftersales facilities are top-of-the-line, offering personalized and professional service with very strict follow-ups for each premium client. We intend to keep working along this line, and improve our processes as we go.
Q: As the brand introduces the new QX60, how do you see hybrid models impacting Infiniti’s presence in Mexico?
A: Hybrid models have been a success story for Infiniti in Mexico. One of our core assets in terms of technology is hybrid innovation and we have already launched two models in the country with a truly unique proposal supported for our extended experience and knowledge in the development of this technology. We believe that hybrid technology should also contribute to the car’s performance, reflected in the fact that these are our top-performing models. The prices we have established for our hybrid models have been extremely attractive for the segment and the customers considering the numerous advantages in terms of fuel economy, performance and tax advantages depending on the state.
The performance of our hybrid versions stand out in the premium segment, Infiniti Q50 Hybrid has an engine of 3.5 L with a maximum of 360 hp, and an estimated power-efficiency of 17.0 km/l (combined); Infiniti QX60 (AWD), offers an engine of 2.5 L with a maximum of 250 hp, and an estimated power efficiency of 15.7 km/l (combined).
With the Q50, there have been months where 30% of our sales have been of hybrid versions. Moreover, the QX60, which was only introduced last year, is doing fantastic and we are almost always sold out on our hybrid versions achieving 20% of Infiniti sales in Mexico. It is not only a green car with excellent fuel economy, but also our best performing model.
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