It seems as if for the past year, we have reporting only positive news on the Audi brand. However today we report that one of the top executives, Johan de Nysschen has been poached by a rival luxury car brand, Infiniti.
The blow for Audi comes as Infiniti are revamping their strategy and processes with the most recent significant change being them moving their headquarters outside of the home country of Japan. Their headquarters will now be based in Hong Kong.
The news may come as quite surprising to many. Audi are the fastest growing luxury car brand in the world. In nearly all markets in which they have a presence, Audi have reported strong growth figures. In emerging car markets such as India, Audi finished third in overall sales figures but reported the strongest growth. Even in established car markets such the United States, Audi again finished 3rd behind German rivals BMW and Mercedes-Benz but showed the greatest growth figures.
After reading that, it is no wonder that Nissan’s luxury brand Infiniti are interested in hiring Audi’s top talent. Johan de Nysschen was the previous Chief of Audi’s American projects. He has been one of the main factors behind Audi catching up with the likes of BMW and Mercedes-Benz. Mr de Nysschen adopted a strategy of ensuring that their cars were made attractive to the younger generations.
It is ideas such as that in which Nissan’s Infiniti brand need to adopt. They need rejuvenating if they are to be mentioned in the same breath as Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Audi.
Andy Palmer, who Johan de Nysschen will be reporting to, has said “We have exciting and ambitious plans for improving the Infiniti brand including introducing new models in all markets where premium customer demand exists. 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.”
Johan de Nysschen had been with Audi for 19 years. He had positions in South Africa and Japan before he became the head of Audi’s American operations. He currently holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. Mr de
Nysschen also holds an MBA from the University of Pretoria, South Africa.
We believe that Audi still have the firepower to continue their amazing progress and catch up with the top two.