Infiniti picks former BMW exec to head Europe
Knight joins Infiniti from Lamborghini, where he was head of sales and marketing.
Infiniti has appointed veteran premium brand executive Fintan Knight to lead the Nissan luxury brand in Europe.
Knight, 41, has 20 years' experience working for automakers such as BMW, Audi and Lamborghini.
"The addition of Fintan Knight is a key ingredient that further strengthens the Infiniti leadership team," Infiniti President Johan de Nysschen, who left his job as head of Audi of America to join the Japanese brand last July, said in a statement.
"His proven track record in premium automotive brand management will be a tremendous asset as we reach out to new customers as part of Infiniti's global growth plan," said de Nysschen.
Renault-Nissan CEO Carlo Ghosn had set a target for Infiniti to boost annual sales in Europe, including Turkey and Russia, to 100,000 vehicles by 2016 from 12,265 last year, according to JATO Dynamics. De Nysschen told Automotive News Europe last September that it would take Infiniti more time to reach that goal but the target remains in effect. Ghosn also wants Infiniti to triple global sales to 500,000 vehicles by 2016 from more than 155,000 last year, according to JATO data.
Knight, who starts May 1, succeeds Bernard Loire, who is now managing director of Nissan Italy. Knight joins Infiniti from VW Group supercar subsidiary Lamborghini, where he worked for more than four years in roles such as commercial director and as the board member in charge sales, marketing and aftersales.
Prior to that he was with Audi from 1995 to 2008 where he held a number of roles including managing director of Audi Ireland and general manager of Audi Asia and Pacific. Knight began his automotive career in 1992 working for BMW in Australia. Knight has a degree in economics from University of Western Australia in Perth and an MBA from IESE Business School at the University of Navarra in Spain. The native of Australia will report to de Nysschen.
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