Infiniti Snags Roland Kruger from BMW as New President

This summer's game of executive musical chairs continues among luxury automakers, as BMW's Roland Krüger was named the new president of Infiniti. Krüger becomes head of Infiniti and senior vice president of parent company Nissan, following former president Johan de Nysschen's recent move to Cadillac.

Krüger will work out of Infiniti's global hub in Hong Kong. The new president will report to CEO Carlos Ghosn, who is in dire need of capable leadership following de Nysschen's defection to Cadillac, and Infiniti chairman Andy Palmer's jump to Aston Martin.

Krüger brings a wide range of experience in the luxury-car market, having worked in design, product planning, and regional marketing in the early stages of his executive career, and later in larger-scale management of BMW Asia. Krüger served as Managing Director of BMW Asia in Singapore from 2004-2008, before becoming president and CEO of BMW Japan from 2009-2012. He most recently served as president of BMW Group in Germany, a position he began in March of 2013.

"Roland Krüger has a consistent record of high performance in the premium automotive sector," said Nissan's Ghosn in a statement. "He brings unique leadership skills that will accelerate Infiniti's progress in the global premium market."

Infiniti is targeting a major sales increase to sell 500,000 vehicles globally by 2017. Krüger will be tasked with chasing this goal on the shoulders of a broadening Infiniti lineup that likely includes a full-size Infiniti flagship, a Q30 compact, and a crossover variant dubbed the QX30. Krüger's resume suggests he's up to the challenge—he is apparently an accomplished explorer and adventurer whose accolades include a 50-day solo ski trek to the South Pole.

Infiniti has invested heavily in collaboration with Germany's Daimler, with which it shares the Decherd, Tennessee-built 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine used for the 2015 Mercedes-Benz C-Class. Beginning in 2017 the two companies will begin building their next-generation compact cars together at a new, $1.36 billion plant currently under construction in Aguascalientes, Mexico.

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