The Nissan-owned marque launched in Europe in 2009, with limited marketing support. It sold only 232 cars in the UK in 2010, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.
Infiniti has agreed a two-year deal with Red Bull Racing, brokered by sport sponsorship agency Prism, with a view to a longer technological tie-up.
Andreas Sigl, head of global brand innovation at Infiniti, becomes global director for a new F1 division. Marketing will be overseen by Nissan’s vice-president for global marketing and communications, Simon Sproule. An integrated push for Infiniti, centred on the sponsorship, will break in the build-up to the season’s first F1 Grand Prix in Australia on 27 March.
Infiniti senior vice-president Andy Palmer told Marketing he is keen to raise awareness in Europe to the same level the marque has in the US. ‘You don’t sell cars if nobody knows who you are,’ he said.
Palmer added that F1’s targets to cut CO2 emissions fitted well with Infiniti’s upcoming electric car launch and its focus on sustainability.