Infiniti, the luxury brand of the Renault-Nissan Alliance has officially arrived in Malaysia.It’s new showroom was opened at the heart of Kuala Lumpur at Chulan Square in Bukit Bintang.Four new Infiniti models were introduced – The FX SUV, EX crossover, M sports sedan and the G coupe, all sharing the same 3.7-litre V6 engine. Read the full news from Motortrader below.
INFINITI ARRIVES IN MALAYSIA
To most Malaysians, Infiniti is a name that would be associated with that brand of fuel which has an extra dosage of additives and some might even think of a well-known brand of audio equipment (though that’s spelt ‘Infinity’). However, there is a brand called Infiniti which has been around since 1989 and its products are luxury cars. Car enthusiasts would know the brand, of course, and they would also know that it is to Nissan what Lexus is to Toyota.
It’s hard to say if Infiniti was not created for the US market because that’s where it first appeared (almost at the same time as Lexus) and has been highly respected for its sporty products. In fact, one could draw the parallel when comparing Lexus and Infiniti with Mercedes-Benz and BMW. Until about 6 years ago, it wasn’t a global brand and was only offered in a small number of markets outside North America. But since 2005, Infiniti has gone global and is now over 20 markets. By 2013, another 25 more markets will get the brand.
Malaysia joined the list of Infiniti markets today with the launch of the brand and the opening of the first showroom in the country at Chulan Square in Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur. “Infiniti is aggressively expanding its footprint globally. Malaysia is the second of 25 targeted markets worldwide where Infiniti will be introduced from now until 2013,” said Toru Saito, Corporate Vice-President of Infiniti.
“The arrival of Infiniti in Malaysia comes at a time when the luxury automotive market is experiencing positive growth. With a 40 percent increase in the luxury car market last year, we are excited to be in a position to offer luxury car buyers in Malaysia a distinctive brand that epitomizes luxury performance,” he said. “Our plan in Malaysia is to capture 5 percent of the local luxury car market in the next 5 years by progressively introducing new models in new segments and more Infiniti Centres in key market locations throughout the country.”
The first showroom is designed in accordance with Infiniti’s Corporate Identity and is known as IREDI – which stands for Infiniti Retail Environment Design Initiative. The 8,000 sq.ft. facility has a high-class ambience which is in keeping with the brand’s image. While it does not have a service centre attached (there is a dedicated facility in another part of the city), it does have waiting areas for customers who can bring their cars there and there is also a special room where they can take delivery of their new cars.
The retail centre is operated by Inspired Auto Sdn Bhd, a joint-venture between Auto Dunia and Edaran Tan Chong Motor (ETCM). Both companies have a history of being in the auto business, with Auto Dunia having made a success of Audi and Subaru in the 1990s. ETCM’s history goes even further back to the late 1950s when it began selling Nissan (then known as Datsun) cars. As one of the oldest partners of Nissan, it’s therefore not surprising that the company is involved in Infiniti’s entry into this market.
As most of the sales will be in the Klang Valley, the dedicated after-sales facilities are also in this region. However, it is also anticipated that there will be customers in other areas and to support them, there is the extensive nationwide ETCM network. From what we understand, Infiniti owners who need assistance outside the Klang Valley will be able to contact service centres in the ETCM network. At the same time, a team of Infiniti technicians will also be dispatched if specialized work is needed.
The showroom in Chulan Square is the first and there will be others though it is likely to depend on the speed at which sales grow. Infiniti is the ‘new kid in town’ though there would be many customers who would know about it from their time studying or working in North America. And with its association with the Red Bull F1 team, which has world champion Sebastian Vettel, brand awareness should also increase quickly.
Four models are available for now – the FX SUV, EX crossover, M sports sedan and the G coupe, all sharing the same 3.7-litre V6 engine. While some of these models may have been brought in by private importers before, it’s important to note that the units imported by Inspired Auto have been specially customized for the Malaysian market. One example given is the inclusion of a transmission oil cooler which was specified after Infiniti engineers assessed road and driving conditions here and concluded that the cars would be driven hard by owners. Units imported from other countries might not have this oil cooler and run hotter and less reliably. The attention to such detail is impressive and is also applied to other markets. In Indonesia, for example, certain models are given extra ground clearance to cope with rough road conditions there.
On-the-road without insurance in the Peninsula, Infiniti’s range in Malaysia is priced as such:
– EX 37: RM380,000
– G 37 Coupe: RM415,000
– M 37: RM425,000
– FX 37: RM435,000
The Infiniti Centre is located at the following address, and is open daily from 10:00am to 9:00pm:
92 Jalan Raja Chulan,
50200 Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: +603 2142 3332