By on June 11, 2014

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That Infiniti-badged Nissan Juke that seemed so outlandish? It’s coming – but only for China.

A Nissan spokesman confirmed to Jalopnik that the Infiniti ESQ, pictured here, is indeed a Chinese-only Infiniti product. Essentially a rebadged Nismo Juke, the ESQ makes next to no attempt to disguise its origins – it’s literally a rebadge job that only the least discerning consumers would ever confuse for a distinct Infiniti product. But it does give Infiniti a toehold in the red-hot compact crossover segment.

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21 Comments on “Infiniti ESQ: Infiniti Gets A Small Crossover, But Only For China...”


  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Gee, such a shame.

  • avatar
    Car Ramrod

    For those who thought there was too much rear legroom in an EX35…

  • avatar
    319583076

    Ugh. Buyers deserve what they get, I suppose.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    Why start a new brand in China with something so half-arsed?

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Although most of my car information regarding China comes from TTAC, based on what else I hear/know about the country I think the OEMs are literally throwing everything but the kitchen sink at China and seeing what sticks. The reasoning is simple, the amount of liquid cash in the country is staggering and it sounds like its more widespread over socioeconomic levels. That’s not to say a good percentage of the population of the country is below Western standards (because they probably are) but the people in cities have alot of cash to spend. This vs the US where something like 60% of the population have little to no assets and subsist on less than 30K per year. So Infiniti runs this little thing and its a hit, its a big hit, and if it flops well it was worth a shot and they will learn from it. Launching it in a crowded US segment yields little reward vs risk/cost.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      That makes sense. Why have they got so much cash in the middle class? I wouldn’t think housing to be cheap in such a crowded country. And their wages can’t be great across the board, on account of how cheap their stuff ends up being on the shelf.

      • 0 avatar
        deanst

        Their population is 1.4 billion. Take the richest 25% and you have a market bigger than the U.S.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        I’ve never been but I interact with Chinese nationals. From what I understand real estate is quite pricy in the cities as are some of their other living costs. But unlike the West, China is a place were a nobody can become a millionaire depending on how they play their hand and who they are connected too. I say unlike because although there are still rags to riches stories out there, they are few and far between for a number of reasons.

    • 0 avatar
      Car Ramrod

      It does seem like the manufacturers can’t nail down consumer tastes at all. This is apparently the same country whose consumers are clamoring for LWB 3-series and A4s. I guess when the market is 3x the size of ours, 10bp in market share is worth the effort.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        From what I understand our Chinese friends love the LWB’s because it is a sign of wealth and success to have a driver. I obviously am my own driver but I too love the LWB models because sedans should be spacious for rear passengers, not extra doors mounted on a coupe size platform because US buyers are devoid of taste and logic.

        • 0 avatar
          Car Ramrod

          I’d buy them as well, provided they were available with a manual. Perhaps then my kids would stop complaining about daddy’s “small car” relative to our ginormous minivan.

          edit: If the car is designed to suit someone other than the driver, I wonder how the driving dynamics are impacted by the extra length. The review of the 3-series GT (3 inches longer than the sedan, I believe) wasn’t too positive, but there are probably other factors in play there.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            That’s a good point about driving dynamics. In my view, sedans are for hauling passengers first and Autobahn like driving dynamics second. But I suppose buyers enjoy the idea of rear passengers and coupe-like driving dynamics (hence smalls rear doors being grafted where they don’t belong onto coupe like platforms). But of course no salesman is going to explain to a buyer the old engineering adage: “good, fast, cheap, pick two”. You can’t have it all.

      • 0 avatar
        deanst

        The manufacturers are in it for the growth. If 25% of the population can now afford a car, and you think that the number is growing to 50%, you’ve doubled the size of the market. Developed markets are lucky to have any positive growth, especially once the aging of the population becomes an issue.

  • avatar
    alsorl

    And how is Infiniti the not Pontiac of Nissan ?

  • avatar
    cbrworm

    Less stick on plastic body cladding and nicer interiors.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    Come on, folks…April Fool’s Day was a really long time ago.


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