TOKYO, April 30 Nissan Motor Co named a
former BMW AG executive in China to head its luxury
brand Infiniti's operations in the country, as it seeks to
expand production and dealerships in the world's biggest auto
Nissan appointed 39-year-old Daniel Kirchert as Infiniti's
managing director to oversee its Chinese business from May 1,
Japan's No.2 automaker by vehicle sales volume said in a
statement on Tuesday.
Kirchert, a German national, takes over from Allen Lu, who
will take up a new post to oversee Asia and Oceania.
Nissan wants to more than triple its share of China's luxury
vehicle market to 10 percent by 2016. To do so, it plans to
boost the number of Infiniti dealerships to 80 by 2014 from 60
now and to start producing its Q50 sedan and QX50 SUV models in
China in 2014.
Many luxury car dealerships in China struggled with thinning
margins last year as carmakers pushed them to sell vehicles
despite slowing demand. BMW sales in China rose 40 percent to
326,444 vehicles in 2012, and the company is targeting upper
single-digit sales growth there this year.
(Reporting by Yoko Kubota; Editing by Daniel Magnowski)