Former Head of Audi Becomes Infiniti’s Vice President image

Johan de Nysschen, former head of Audi of America, has been named senior vice president for Nissan Motor Co.’s Infiniti luxury brand.

De Nysschen will report to Andy Palmer, Nissan’s executive vice president, who is in charge of product planning, business strategy, marketing communications and the Infiniti division. Beginning July 1st De Nysschen will be based at Infiniti’s new global headquarters in Hong Kong, opened on May 22nd.

“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,” said Andy Palmer.

Last week De Nysschen quit Audi after 19 years with the German company. He was head of Audi’s U.S. arm for seven years, and during this period the company transformed itself from an underperformer to a serious rival for BMW and Mercedes-Benz.

Nissan targets global Infiniti sales of 500,000 by 2017 from 150,000 in 2011, focusing on Asia, Europe, and North America. Infiniti plans to expand its portfolio from 8 models to at least 10 and expand in 76 markets by 2016 from 46 today.