TOKYO, April 30 (Reuters) - 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 market.
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)