The lack of fresh product has put Infiniti into a multi-year slump. Last year, the brand reported 46,619 US sales, its lowest since 1992, according to Automotive News Research & Data Center.
Another retailer also said he’s unlikely to pull the trigger on a store upgrade until he sees a “Cadence product that is true and believable — not just promises.”
“Infiniti has been a disappointing brand for years,” Haig said. “Its dealers are not making any meaningful money compared to almost any other franchise.”
Anticipating the pushback, Infiniti is pitching the redesign to its dealers as optional.
“It’s not a requirement or an expectation,” Keeys emphasized. “We’ll move forward organically based on market need.”
Keeys said about 10 percent of the brand’s 204 US retailers had expressed early interest in updating to the new design. In the US, the new design debuts in Los Angeles and Georgetown, Texas, this month.
“I have not tasked my team with any numerical objectives” around a networkwide rollout, Keeys said. “I want to allow the retailers the flexibility to make that decision.”
Infiniti will also leave it up to dealers to decide how deep they want to go with the store overhaul.
“We’ve [designed] the image program to where a dealer can choose to make a full investment, or a minimal investment,” Keeys said, declining to disclose how much the redesign would cost.