By on October 4, 2019

2019 INFINITI QX50

Infiniti’s sales took a tumble in September, dropping 44 percent (43.9 percent, to be exact) compared to September 2018.

Last year, Nissan’s luxury brand sold 12,536 units in September, while just 7,031 units left dealer lots this time around. The brand is also down 16.5 percent over the first nine months of the year.

Bigger picture, the industry has been hit by six months of sales declines in 2019, and all large automakers, Asian or American, were facing large drops (double digits, in many cases) in September. The good news for the industry is that the seasonally adjusted annual sales rate (SAAR) checked in around 17.16 million units across all brands – a healthy number despite the sales declines.

Like everyone else, Infiniti had to deal with a September 2019 containing two fewer selling days than last year. Not to mention that Labor Day weekend was divided between August and September this year, with the Saturday of the holiday weekend falling in August.

Infiniti and Nissan are responding to the sales slump by continuing the automaker’s streamlining push, cutting back on incentives and fleet sales. Earlier this year, Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa declared the company had hit “rock bottom,” and last month’s U.S. sales did nothing to alleviate that impression.

Other luxury brands aren’t feeling quite as much pinch. Lexus sold over 18,000 units, while BMW and Mercedes-Benz were over 27,000 units. Cadillac and Acura cleared the 10K mark, while Lincoln and Land Rover also out-sold Infiniti.

Every Infiniti model was down year-over-year, even the new for last year QX50, which dropped 51.1 percent.

It’s hard to say exactly what ails Infiniti, though some product (Q70) is getting long in the tooth and the large land-barge QX80 is also getting up there in years. Meanwhile, the small QX30 took a huge hit in sales (over 83 percent), as the Mercedes-based crossover awaits death as the brand exits the Western European market.

Aging and dying product don’t typically attract buyers. The slump of the QX50, which offered new engine (variable compression) and driver-aid tech is a bit more mystifying, as the vehicle launched in early 2018. It’s still a relatively fresh model.

In recent months, Infiniti has left Western Europe behind (Infinexit?), relocated its HQ from Hong Kong to Japan, and brought in a new head of global design. None of this has changed the sales picture.

What’s next for Infiniti is unclear, but surely Nissan is working to reverse this trend.

[Image: Infiniti]

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68 Comments on “Infiniti Sales Slump Leaves Brand Stumped...”


  • avatar
    dividebytube

    Interesting – last year when I bought my used Mustang from an Infiniti dealership, I asked the salesman how sales for new cars were going. He was, in true sales speak, happy to report that everything at that dealership was great. And how exciting the new CVT (!) transmissions were along with all the other features. I do see some Infiniti cars/crossovers in the neighborhood but less than say Audi.

    Infiniti, for whatever reason, seems to have a low-rent BMW image.

    Based on the positive experience with my wife’s 2008 M37x I’m actually eying a Q50 Redline – used – for my next car. I know the interior is “dated” as is the infotainment system, and the car isn’t much of a looker compared to say an Audi. But a 400hp V6TT and AWD appeals to my inner hoon.

  • avatar
    SSJeep

    Infiniti is what Lincoln used to be – dated models with marginal upgrades, combined with bad decisions spanning several model years (such as hanging onto the loathed and maligned CVT). Just like the past Ford and Lincoln, Nissan has neglected to invest anything meaningful into Infiniti. If their auto show presence is any indicator, this trend will continue for the foreseeable future.

    Lincoln pulled its head out and started getting its act together. Hopefully Infiniti does before it is too late.

    • 0 avatar

      Ford ignored Lincoln because it has European “jewels” to take care of. As a result it had too many luxury brands and not enough cash to invest. And Lincoln was the first to get ignored. Mulally wanted to kill Lincoln outright but also got rid of “jewels” therefore making resources available for Lincoln makeover. But still there is not enough cash for Lincoln to compete directly with German Bug 3. Nissan apparently has the same problem with only difference that Infinitis do not share platforms with Nissan but are much uglier, lower quality interior, as a brand has zero heritage (and therefore Euroexit) and are dated compared with Lincoln.

    • 0 avatar
      RHD

      Hyundai and Kia are carving out purchases from other marques such as Infiniti. They’ve made their paint look richer, and the premium brands have gone with black plastic and chrome covered plastic where there’s no paint, so they now look like Hyundais and Kias.
      Half or more the new vehicles on the road, if they had no brand or model labels or badges, would be almost impossible to identify, unless you were a connoisseur of that company.

  • avatar
    MorrisGray

    I am shopping for a new car and was researching for an Infinity Q50,Q60,Q70 but got scared away because of reliability issues from reviews I read. I think they look great but I don’t want to spend that kind of money and hope they will be okay to own. I also think Nissan has two of the best looking sedans on the market today but I will not have a CVT period. My ideal Infinity would have a naturally aspirated v6 motor and for the Q60, a manual transmission to choose. They can do away with infotainment systems and cylinder deactivation or start/stop or whatever any car manufacturers have today like that. There are reports that the pedestrian emergency systems don’t function properly on cars. How do these innovations get thru research and development if they don’t work properly when the car is offered to the public? And they increase the cost of manufacturing that we have to pay for and it doesn’t work in the real world.

  • avatar
    Eric the Red

    Will anyone really miss Infiniti? Not really high end and not really a great value. Lots of players want a piece of the lower end luxury market and they most have a better reputation than Nissan/Infiniti.

  • avatar
    Hummer

    The brand that used to offer multiple cars with V8s for good prices now sells mostly V6s and turbo engines. Good riddance, if your not committed to being a luxury brand then don’t come to the party. Same goes to everyone else.

  • avatar
    eggsalad

    Lexus, Acura, and Infiniti are all luxury cars based on the bones of their more mainstream family members. For Toyota and Honda, that’s a good thing. But who wants a luxury car based on Nissan’s abysmal offerings?

    Honestly, on the rare occasions I see an Infiniti, I think to myself, “Do they still make those, or is that an old one?”

    • 0 avatar

      While I agree with the sentiment, the mainstream family members thing is only true some of the time. But it’s the most true at Infiniti and Acura, and the least true at Lexus.

      Infiniti and Acura don’t build exciting products. Infiniti in particular seems to lag on new product development and they don’t have home run crossovers like the MDX and RDX.

      (Both of which I’d have over a Lexus RX or smaller.)

  • avatar
    MorrisGray

    I would love to buy an Infinity if they had a naturally aspirated v6. I would love to buy a G35/37 replacement if offered with a manual transmission and the NA v6. Infinity needs to offer something different because if not they can not compete with the top badge offerings. People will buy or more probable lease them regardless of what they offer. I owned a 1996 I30 and it was one of the best cars I have ever owned. But I needed a 4 door back then. The two door manual would have been my choice if not for the kids though. Now I want one and they are not available….

  • avatar
    jkross22

    Overpriced, less reliable than Acura and Lexus, older designs…. yeah, it’s hard to see what’s wrong.

  • avatar
    stangmatt66

    They don’t understand the slump? LOL Infiniti has one new vehicle for sale, the QX50. Most of the others are over 5 years old.

    Q60 = 2 years old, but coupes never sell well
    Q50 = 6 years old
    QX60 = 6 years old
    Q70 = 7 years old
    QX80 = 9 years old (with a refresh)

  • avatar
    Goatshadow

    Fire all the designers and find some from new ones from Japan.

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    If they offered cars people wanted, they’d do okay. They’ve never made a single Infiniti that appealed to me and 99% of their Nissans are just as bad. They got away from what made them popular and now they’re struggling just to survive. They don’t need new management, they need new, desirable, products.

    • 0 avatar
      PSX 5k Ultra Platinum Triple Black

      Infiniti is a damaged brand for sure. I agree with you on how they are not desirable, except in 2002 the Infiniti G35 coupe and sedan was a pretty cool ride I thought. Great V6 (for the period), rwd, and even a manual or non cvt transmission, plus it looked cool.

      I like the QX80 now, but other than that suv (and the Armada), everything else Infiniti and Nissan make is at or near the bottom of it’s class.

  • avatar
    danio3834

    My issue with Infiniti is that since they changed their naming nomenclature, I don’t know what’s what and I can’t be bothered to re-learn.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    The Q70/Q70L (formerly M37/M37h/M56) has been around just as long as the QX80 (formerly QX56). They both debuted in My2011 and are quite old by now.

    The QX60 (formerly JX35) debuted in 2013, but uses the same general electronics and school of design as the previous two, and so doesn’t feel any newer.

    Then you have the Q50 sedan and Q60 coupe, which are veritable bargains, but which are not as refined as their competitors.

    The QX30, which is going away, is a thinly-disguised GLA-Class…which itself is probably worst-in-class for that segment (subcompact luxury crossovers).

    Finally, there’s the QX50, which is a competent offering, but which has to compete against a bunch of recent offerings from other brands (Q5, X3, XC60, Corsair, CT4, RDX).

    I’m not surprised sales have slumped. Infiniti needs new product.

    —— SO ——

    I think the first one to get redesigned should be the QX60. The Infiniti three-row crossover segment is an important one, that has a lot of profit in it if you make a compelling vehicle. So, Infiniti, throw the full extent of your design and tech prowess at a redesigned QX60. Ditch the dual-screen setup.

    Then, replace both the Q50 and Q70 with *one* really good sedan. Maybe make it kind of tweener sized. Make it as good as the QX60 tech- and design-wise, and keep it on a longitude-engine platform. Make sure you retain a 400-or-greater-hp engine option, too.

    Keep the Q60; it’s a new design and it looks great as a showcase of Infiniti styling.

    Make your own subcompact crossover, instead of borrowing one from Mercedes-Benz. It can be on a FWD platform. Give it really good styling and tech. Make it look like something Audi would be jealous of.

    You can actually keep the QX80 for another couple of years, as well; the recent (2nd) facelift is handsome enough. But put a new tech stack in the interior and get a replacement in the queue.

    • 0 avatar

      All these items also need a quality injection. If you’re selling old crap it should feel nicer than the newer thing someone can get at another brand.

      The Q60 feels old and a bit hollow outside the RS400. $55,000 and no nav? No heated seats or ventilated? And pleather? Get outta here.

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree S. Williams

        True. The RC, 4 Series, C-Class Coupe and A5 feel considerably nicer, at that price point. I never drove the ATS Coupe, so I’m not sure about that one.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Good points Kyree, I’m surprised the Nissan Kicks hasn’t been spun up and rebadged as the Infinity QX20 or some such.

    • 0 avatar
      conundrum

      The QX60 (J35) is a Nissan Pathfinder in mini-hearse disguise complete with transverse engine and CVT, so far as I know. Made on the same line in TN.

      infiniti would need some budget to make a standalone QX60 independent of the Pathfinder.

      The current QX50 is a wimp compared to the outgoing one, which was, after ditching the short wheelbase EX35, a G37 on stilts. And made in Japan for all non-China versions. The new QX50 is made at one of the three Nissan plants in Aguascalientes Mexico, probably in the side-by-side Plant 3, where one half is Mercedes, the other half Nissan. Nissan is having trouble justifying keeping that plant going now the QX30 is dumped, and may sell their half to Mercedes, who would assemble QX50s under contract, and pump out more tincan A class cars which for some reason, people insist on purchasing at inflated prices.

      Nissan is in a bind worldwide. Without Rogue and Qashqai they might as well fold up the tent and call it quits. Their small cars don’t come close to Hyundai’s wide spectrum offerings and look like sad sacks. The Altima is North America only. Infiniti is even more screwed up than Nissan. I drove the new QX50 with its CVT and it’s not a patch on the old one, which was a solid V6 FM-platform vehicle with an outdated instrument/infotainment set-up but a nice car to drive. Talk about a downgrade, variable compression whoopity do dah day engine or not, it comes with a CVT – it’s just not as substantial-feeling; it’s really an Altima on stilts with a flash interior/electronics. The Acura RDX and everyone else is cleaning its clock.

  • avatar

    This has been a long time coming. Management shouldn’t have gone the CVT route, nor the front-drive route.

    When they had real transmissions and rear-drive based stuff they were doing much better.

    Like in 2008. Circa 2010, they pulled a VW and cost-cut their models and it was very evident.

    G
    M
    FX
    QX

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      I agree but I imagine the reason Infiniti partnered with Mercedes to produce a mainstream and probably important product was because the marque did not want to invest in doing it by itself, so it was really a cost cutting move. If Nissan wanted to invest in the marque, it could have spent the funds but it appears they didn’t feel investing in that class was necessary. This coupled with the fact some of the older models continue to soldier on suggests Nissan isn’t looking to sink more cash into it anytime soon. Couple this with the Ghosn thing and I wonder if they are debating whether Infiniti even has a future or not.

    • 0 avatar
      Spartan

      Cost cutting? On what model? The G37 got a refresh in 2010 and its interior was upgraded. The NAV, interior materials and IP was refreshed. The 7 speed automatic was added. The leather was better, too.

      I owned a 2010 G37 6MT Coupe for years. A friend of mine had a 2008 model. There’s no cost cutting on that model. I can’t speak or others, but the G got better over time.

  • avatar
    Dave M.

    I was sniffing around a QX70 (pricing was very attractive), but the mid-2000’s graphics were a complete turnoff. It was embarrassing.

  • avatar
    notanotherteslafanboi

    Infiniti used to offer some truly unique vehicles especially in the crossover space. The FX and and EX were sporty, rear-drive-biased, and powered by genuinely sporty power trains that stood out in the ocean of front-drive tall hatchbacks that comprise most of the marketplace.

    With their front-drive replacements Infiniti now has no real features to distinguish them from every other quasi-luxo raised hatchback on the market.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    “Meanwhile, the small QX30 took a huge hit in sales (over 83 percent),”

    Yikes. Funny though it followed the formula of the Buick Encore despite being a bit bigger, its slow, ugly, hard to see out of, based on a compact car platform (Mercedes A class), available with AWD and other goodies, has poor resale, and sold by a near luxury brand. Ironically if you look at the upcoming Encore it has similar styling to the QX30 IMO.

  • avatar
    indi500fan

    They’re selling a Nissan at a higher price when they label it Infiniti, but does that carry the load for the added cost to rebadge, dual marketing and sales staff, etc? Or would they be better off to dump Infiniti overboard and concentrate on making the Nissan product line better?

  • avatar
    Acd

    The causes of Infiniti’s lower sales volume are right in the article:

    “Infiniti and Nissan are responding to the sales slump by continuing the automaker’s streamlining push, cutting back on incentives and fleet sales.”

    Lower incentives decreasing retail sales + fewer fleet sales = a lousy month for Infiniti.

  • avatar
    ajla

    If Hyundai ever pulls its head out of its a$$ and gives Genesis a dealer network that exists beyond ImaginationLand then it’ll probably hurt Infiniti the most because they are going after similar customers and (IMO anyway) Genesis offers better products.

  • avatar
    BC

    Nissan used to make good cars. Now they don’t. As the old aphorism goes: you can’t polish a turd.

  • avatar
    brn

    Their inability to spell finally caught up with them.

    Infinity.

  • avatar
    slap

    Cost cutting and sticking with old platforms with minor facelifts may have provided short term profits, but the chickens have come home to roost.

  • avatar
    Carguy75

    How could they be stumped? It’s not really hard to figure out. Their tech is ancient at best. The nav in my 07 G35S is exactly the same screen in my 18 Q50RS. They added the bottom screen in the Q50 with the promise of adding apps that never happened. Then when they finally do add things like car play and Android auto it’s not updateable with a software update to the previous Intouch which is a joke. The Maxima interior absolutely kills the Q50/60 and no option for cooled seats in the Q50/60 in a 60k car. That’s ridiculous when a 30k KIA has them. The VR30DDTT is a great motor in the 400hp version when it’s not eating oil from bad turbos or snapping belts because they still haven’t figured out the alignment problem. Then there’s the Jatco 7 AT which is absolute trash. If they still had a 3 pedal option or even a nicely tuned zf8 trans the car would be amazing to drive. The factory Dunlop runflats are noisy, have widespread problems with blowouts and also make the car unpredictable in corners. Once changed it becomes much more predictable on spirited driving. Their QC has gone to the wayside from the G35/37 days. But they somehow are stumped? Try listening to the customer’s you used to have and look at how far behind the Germans they are in tech. That’d be a good start if you actually want to save the brand. Otherwise just kill it off and let Nissan take over. They are already miles ahead on adding tech in the lineup.

  • avatar
    gasser

    Take a step back. The real reason that Acura and Infiniti are struggling is that in today’s landscape is this: there is no room for “near luxury”. 15-20 years ago the low priced cars like Honda Accords and the newer CUVs from Honda/Nissan/Mazda/Hyundai were far below luxury level. The jump up to a luxury marque was too expensive….hence “near luxury” did well.
    Fast forward to today. It’s very easy to price up Honda Accord or CR-V to the low to mid $30s. However, the German big three have aggressively moved down market. Q5, Q3, GLC, GLB, etc. Also the unbelievable decline in the Euro (about $1.50 ten years ago to about $1.10 today) has given the manufacturer/importer a huge amount of room to discount the German cars and still make a good profit. I have personally seen new GLCs priced in the high $30s. Many people now can reach a discounted German make auto in place of a Honda or Mazda. So where does Acura or Infiniti have room to price their product??? Nowhere.

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      Ha! I read your post after writing mine below. I think this is a real issue. There isn’t much of a market or reason to exist for Infiniti, Acura, Buick, and Mazda.

    • 0 avatar

      Agreed. I have an ace of base VW Jetta next to an C class AMG. The cars are exactly the same size. They both have power windows, brakes, A/C, Bluetooth, heated mirrors and rear window. Ignoring snob appeal, they are way closer than one could imagine….if someone tossed me the Jetta when I was driving my Scirocco with a Callaway turbo and mods, I’d have been floored that the cheapest new car is close on the numbers.

      Yes, the Benz turns supercar numbers, is a lot quieter (soundproofing is intentional) and for 3x the price, is better built and has more content…but the distance between the top and bottom, as expressed in a German mold via Mexico and Alabama, isn’t nearly as far as it used to be. Some steps are even backward, fitting runflats on top end cars is wrong, and my Base Jetta on Conti DWS O6 is better than the Conti SSR runflats…

      Near Luxury ? What is that now ? You either go cheaper, not as cheap as the Jetta maybe, but once you kit a typical car up to the standard 30-50k sales price, you get just as much as you do in the full blown Lux car. At that point, you are buying Badge…Excess Power….and that’s pretty much it. Near Luxury doesn’t give you Badge, no one cares. You don’t get the Excess Power, the very last thing any OE gives out….Acura is allergic to HP, and Infiniti no longer sells those cars. At this point, an Accord is at every measure a better car than, say a CLA (nissan-benz), and the only reason you’d buy that is badge.

      At this point, it’s lots of cheap cars, and a smaller band of Lux. The media focuses on the lux cars because they are fun, aspirational for most, and much higher profit than the cheap cars. Near lux requires more middle class than remains…

      • 0 avatar
        MorrisGray

        Well said SpeedLaw…. The media gets to drive cars for promotional reasons and I would also love to drive some more expensive and technological cars than the ones I would be willing to actually purchase. When it comes to buying a car I want something that has more proven reliability, reasonable cost of ownership and operation, something that fits my needs at my stage in life and something that is enjoyable to drive. For me, a car is not an asset or an investment. And now that I am older and would rather have money in the bank vs status/exciting/whatever car in the garage, I just want a reasonably priced car that I can count on for ten plus years and be happy about owning it everyday as I walk outside to get in it again. Example>>>> my 2006 Mazda3 5sp manual 2.0L naturally aspirated 4 door sedan and my 2012 Hyundai Genesis 3.8L naturally aspirated 4 door sedan. I also have a 2002 Chev Silverado ext cab with the 5.7L motor that has been dependable but the clear coat is now peeling off.
        …. Most people are now leasing cars and don’t buy them for long term ownership. I am not willing to continually rent a car and I am also leery of the newer technology for long term ownership. Things that I refer to like turbo assisted motors, idle stop/start, cylinder deactivation, lane keep assist, lane departure, the auto adjust cruise control, auto braking, dash computer screens called infotainment whatever, and probably more that I can not recall at this moment. Why not make base cars and let buyers choose what they want to pay extra for? People are getting sucked in to buying more than they can afford. I believe that leasing helps most people become car poor. As a society we have more and more people each year filing for bankruptcy and yet that have these nice cars in their driveway or garage. Or they just don’t have any money saved and can not even buy a new washer and dryer without financing them on a payment plan. I don’t mean everybody but surely you understand what I am talking about. For anyone that can afford it, no problem. Spend $50/$60/$70k or more on a car if you wish. Society is over indulging in luxury lust and can’t afford the long term results. More and more people want and expect the government to help them out somehow or to be able to file bankruptcy and get out of debt for free. And I know some that have done this more than once. A car is simply a tool but it loses value quickly, in 99.9% of the time. I don’t believe that electric cars are ready yet either but I don’t have issue with someone else choosing to buy one.

  • avatar
    Fifth87

    Fancy Datsuns.
    (Works best read in a Jeremy Clarkson voice)

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    Is this an Infiniti issue or a near-luxury issue (don’t really consider Infiniti a true luxury brand). Isn’t Buick and Acura also struggling? Isn’t Mazda, which is trying to reinvent itself as a near-luxury brand also struggling?

    Are these brands getting squeezed with mainstream brands now offering all the tech and safety goodies for a premium on the low end, and getting tougher to differentiate from the high end (Buick in particular) on the other end.

    This TTAC, we care about FWD vs AWD vs RWD but 98% of the buying public could care less about things like chassis, drive, handling dynamics, and steering feel. Hey, it has Apple Carplay and with automatic braking, I can stare at my phone while I’m driving because the car practical drives itself!

    • 0 avatar
      Spartan

      I think you’re on to something. Tesla is eating into a lot of the near to mid lux sales. If you’re not buying a crossover, a Model 3 becomes more attractive as an option.

      Once the Model Y comes online, it’s over if Infiniti and other brands that compete in that space, don’t have an electric CUV to challenge Tesla.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Agree and let me add many do not care whether they are driving a turbo 4 versus a V8 or V6. Many would not know where the hood release is or where the spare tire is if the vehicle has one. Infinti is a has been and should be allowed to die. Nissan did make good vehicles at one time but for the most part most of their vehicles are low rent.

  • avatar
    focal

    Tesla 3 has eaten up all the near luxury money. The fringe luxury players are the ones who suffer.

  • avatar
    Infiniti-Lover

    As a former multi-Infiniti owner I can say without hesitation that the “Infiniti experience” is gone. I’ve owned 6 Infiniti vehicles since 1993 and was always satisfied until my last one a Q50 Hybrid S. This was not only the worst Infiniti I’ve owned – it was the worst car I’ve EVER owned. The dealership experience was abysmal! The brand has lost it way and I’m not sure that anyone in management cares. Guess I should change my screen name too…

  • avatar
    jkross22

    Infiniti has no idea what it’s doing in the most critical area (to most customers) of interior design – infotainment. They would be better served if they pulled all factory systems out of all of their products and installed double din Kenwood units, complete with cheesy graphics and thick black frames.

    They should then slam everything they sell, slap 22’s with spinners on, wire it all up with some underbody neon… bada bing, bada boom, you’re selling to the tuner crowd that will eventually trash these things anyway.

  • avatar
    Spartan

    I owned a ’10 G37 Coupe from 2009-2013. It was an visceral experience to drive and I loved it. Compared to the 335i I cross shopped it against, it felt raw and exciting compared to the more buttoned down 335i. That, IMO, made it a better car and that’s why I bought it. I sold it when I moved out of the country for a while and when we got back to the US, we considered an Infiniti again.

    We recently purchased a new Escalade Platinum and while we considered an Infiniti QX80, we ultimately went with the ‘Slade for one of a few reasons, but most importantly, it has Apple CarPlay and we liked the interior better. Had the Infiniti had CarPlay and an updated interior, we probably would have bought the QX80 or at least considered it a bit more. Which is part of the problem with Infiniti. Their interiors are old.

    Additionally, Infinti lost their way when they decided to ditch their brand equity in the G35/37 series to rid themselves of the backwards hat bro crowd. I get that, as I hated that part too, but they should have just priced the cars higher and kept the names, even if they didn’t correspond to engine displacement. The Q/QX products don’t. So they could have easily called it the G40/G50.

    The M, FX, QX and to a lesser extent the JX, all had somewhat of a following, even if in name only. But they threw all of that away.

    Brand equity issues, interior quality and features and still competition is killing them. I doubt they ever recover unless they land a Model 3 sized electric car hit that gives them the buzz like the G35 did in fall 2002.

  • avatar
    jfk-usaf

    Dear Infinity,
    As someone that buys luxury and (almost)luxury vehicles relatively frequently I have a few thoughts / tips:
    1) Ditch the CVT! There’s nothing nice, luxurious or performance oriented about a CVT. Not even a debate here. Its an econobox transmission.
    2) Up your interior game / materials. An FCA product shouldn’t have a nicer interior than most if not all of your “luxury” product line.
    3) Update more of your powertrain options with more power and efficiency. My Volvo XC90 has 330 HP and 325lb of torque out of its Polestar 2.0 liter. Sorry not impressed by your ~268ish hp rating. Yes, you’re more fuel efficient and that’s important. In my opinion its not #1 on the priority list of a luxury shopper in this range. VC tech is not pulling me in.
    4) Read bullet 1 again.
    5) Update your design language. Your flagship model the QX80 looks like Dr Seuss or the creators of Dave and Ava got a hold of an Armada and “curved it up”. Don’t fall into the Escalade chrome awfulness or the older Mercedes M/E-class chrome add on “upgrades” trap.
    6) Be the best at something. Pick a specific category and knock it out of the park. Honda / Toyota = reliability, BMW is a drivers machine (may be more reputation now), Lexus is reliability and luxury. Pick something and go for it and market the hell out of it. Your brand still seems like its in its infancy and hasn’t figured out its place even though its been around for a while.
    7) Take advantage of the full strength of your engineering departments and parts bins. The GTR is an incredible machine. Why hasn’t some of that tech or parts made it into other products? If it has why don’t I know about it? I am right in your market demographic and I have not considered your brand at all for a number of years. For no specific reason either.

    Just the opinion of someone that buys cars in your price range.

    • 0 avatar

      The GT-R is such a wasted asset. OK, the car itself is stiff, loud and you couldn’t really DD it, but it’s wicked pissah to drive and AWD/500 plus HP is amazing-they could use it as a flagship so many ways… The rest of Nissan is a waste…they sell to the folks who used to buy Mitsu, and either don’t care enough or can’t qualify for Honda or Toyota. CVT is a no sale for an economy car. In anything middle class or above, it is total WTF. I was interested to see in Japan recently that there is Lexus as a brand, but not Infiniti….although Japanese market is completely unlike ours.

  • avatar
    Crispy Spicy Tuna Roll

    The salesman at the local dealership actually said to me “Infiniti is the cheapest luxury brand” during the sales process. That should have been a huge red flag but, having owned only Mazda and Ford products previously, I wanted to enter the “luxury” market and see what all the fuss was about. The Mercedes and BMW offerings (GLE and X5) were too expensive for me and Lexus, while possible (RX), was arrogant and ridiculous with its games. I opted for a QX60. I have buyer’s remorse. Big time. It is lousy. The CVT whines and slogs and gives me an uneasy feeling when I think about how it will do in tough winter conditions. I have even had the thing roll backwards on me twice when stopped on a very slight hill. Very unnerving. The other day the safety system thought it should slam the breaks in the middle of traffic and could have caused an accident. It happened on a road I have driven virtually every day for the past 14 years! I now have to turn the safety sense off when I start the car as it freaked me out! I would have been better off staying with non-luxury offerings and just going for a top trim vehicle in that segment.

    As for the dealership experience, it was lousy overall, although one fellow was friendly (the guy I bought the QX from). Pompous and dismissive. No real sense of customer service. I just started driving an Infiniti this year and will happily hand the keys off and move on, lesson leaned, as soon as I am in a position financially to do so.

  • avatar
    Crispy Spicy Tuna Roll

    For anyone still interested in buying or leasing an Infiniti product, despite the laments here, make sure you negotiate at least 20-30% off the MSRP. The Infiniti brand has gross depreciation in year 1. Buyer beware.

    Last thought for now. The Kia Soul (yes, that’s right — that wonky, tiny car that looks like a toy) has substantially nicer infotainment graphics than Infiniti’s QX60. I sat shotgun in a friend’s Kia last weekend and could really appreciate just how BAD Infiniti’s infotainment really is. Let alone comparison’s to BMW, Aydi and Mercedes. I’m talking about Kia. KIA! It just feels like Nissan has given up on this. Out of Australia. Out of Europe and getting crushed now in North America.

    Do not pay anywhere near MSRP!

  • avatar
    JLGOLDEN

    Competition is fierce and the alternatives are overwhelming for the average new car buyer. In the mild luxury realm we have Lincoln’s new mojo, the presence of Genesis, and even Cadillac’s new mating dances. So how does Infiniti play ball? Dodge manages to move ancient product with aggressive ad campaigns and image-boosting burnouts. But can Infiniti peddle old product and prop up a luxury vibe?

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