After years of low profitability, Infiniti, the luxury brand of Japanese carmaker Nissan, will meet its operating profit margin target this fiscal year, according to its president.
Johan de Nysschen said in an interview that the years of low profit due to the strong yen that affected exported cars should come to an end this year, as a weaker currency, and a low depreciation charge, would help the brand to offset the launch costs of its new mid-sized Q50 model.
He expected the brand to achieve its target for an operating profit margin of 6-7% in the year ending March 2014. “A fair bit of that is coming from the weak yen,” he said, adding he also saw strong sales volumes in the second half.
De Nysschen said he saw Infiniti’s operating profit margin exceeding 10 percent by the end of the 2022 fiscal year, and the brand selling 500,000 cars. Infiniti only sold 172,000 cars last year.
Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn set a new profit target in May for Infiniti, which in recent years has hardly contributed to the Japanese automaker’s operating profit as it struggled to export profitably with a persistently strong yen. The new operating margin was 5.4% for 2012.
The Japanese automaker’s plan to turn Infiniti into a major global premium brand hinges on production in Europe and China, backed by an expanded range of models and engines, some developed in a partnership between Daimler and the Renault-Nissan alliance.