Johan de Nysschen departs Audi for Infiniti

Shakeup at Audi as de Nysschen Departs

First came the news last week that Johan de Nysschen was stepping down as head of Audi in the U.S. and now comes the announcement that he will be appointed as senior vice president of Nissan Motor Company in charge of Infiniti effective July 1, 2012.

The news of de Nysschen's departure from Audi for Infiniti can be viewed in two ways: Audi has hit the wall in terms of near-term growth for either the brand and/or de Nysschen's future or Infiniti offered greener pastures for him.

It's a combination of both, according to some industry insiders. There was some speculation that the reporting structure might be changing at Audi/VW in the United States, which apparently didn't sit well. After all, de Nysschen has been head of the division while it has undergone incredible sales growth.

In fact, one of his last official acts, before announcing he was resigning, was a press release that stated Audi reported record-setting May sales with a 10 percent increase to 11,503 new vehicles sold, marking the 17th consecutive month of unprecedented sales in the U.S. May sales not only represented all-time record total sales for the January-May period, but also marked the fifth-best month ever for the brand, exceeding more than 11,000 in total vehicle sales.

“Consumers are responding favorably to Audi as 17 consecutive months of record-setting sales attests,” said de Nysschen. “Audi’s progressive luxury and technologically advanced vehicle portfolio continues to set the pace in the high-end sector of the luxury car market.”

Now he's hoping to spread some of that magic to Infiniti across the globe. The luxury arm of Nissan was hard hit by the 2011 Tsunami that crippled its production for a while. It is just now returning to strong sales levels thanks to ramped up marketing and production, as well as a great new product in the JX 7-passenger luxury crossover.

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