Sexy Infiniti Sibling Will Be Late to the Party
The second-generation Infiniti QX50 is a seldom talked-about model that gets plenty of mention on these digital pages, what with its technological wizardry and big launch expectations… that didn’t seem to do the compact crossover much good when it finally reached dealerships.
No problem — maybe customers will take more kindly to its QX55 sibling, teased late last year ahead of an early summer 2020 release. But hold on a second! It appears the QX55 won’t show up at the party until much later than expected.
According to a letter from the manufacturing team at Nissan’s Aguascalientes, Mexico assembly plant, production of the QX55 is delayed by nearly half a year, pushing its start date from June to November. The letter, obtained by Automotive News, claims the need to “ensure production capacity” lies at the center of the issue.
Nissan didn’t deny the delay when contacted by the publication.
For the struggling automaker, birthing a new model from an existing one is a cheap and easy way to boost sales and profits. Volkswagen’s doing it with the midsize Atlas — chopping the roofline and adding a pinch of styling flair to create the two-row Atlas Cross Sport. For Infiniti, however, there’s one major difference: the QX50 is a relative sales dud, making the QX55 a far more important addition to the Nissan Group family.
Arriving in late 2018 with an innovative, decade-in-the-making 2.0-liter variable displacement four-cylinder under its hood, the crossover’s sales sunk 26.7 percent in 2019. In comparison, the aging QX60 midsizer boasts far greater volume and much more stable demand.
“As sales of Q50 and Q60 [cars] continue to shrink, Infiniti needs to backfill their lost volume with new and relevant products. QX50 is one step, and QX55 is yet another,” AutoPacific analysts Ed Kim told AN.
The production delay means QX55 sales likely won’t make it to Nissan’s sales ledger this year; certainly, it will arrive too late to make any real impact. That leaves refreshed or redesigned Nissan-badged product (Sentra, Versa, Titan) to lure customers in the current year.
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- Arthur Dailey This car is also in my all time favourite colour combination for 1970s' Town Cars. The black exterior with the deep red (burgundy) interior. Even took my driving test in one. The minute that the driving examiner saw the car I knew that I had passed. He got in and let out a long sigh and started asking about the car. My Old Man always had a Town Car in that black/burgundy colour combination for 'business meetings' that required the use of a back seat for passengers. No way that his full sized associates could fit in the back of a Mark IV or V. So I also have quite a bit of driving time behind the wheel of Town Cars. Just add in the 450 cid engine and the 'optional' continetal hump and I would love to have one of these in my driveway.
- Art Vandelay 15k for some old rusty 80s junk that is slower to 60 than the Exxon Valdez? Pass. Plus no TikTok on the old Mercedes
- JMII I know people behind me get POed when I refuse to turn (right or left) depending on traffic. Even my wife will scream "just go already" but I tend err on the side of waiting for a gap that gives me some cushion. It's the better safe then sorry approach which can be annoying for those behind. Oh well.
- Bobbysirhan Next thing you know, EV drivers will be missing the freedom to travel on their own schedules instead of their cars'.
- Cprescott I'm not surprised by this behavior - it is consistent with how owners of Honduhs, Toyoduhs, or Mazduhs drive. Without fail, these are the consistently obtuse drivers on the road.
Makes sense to me. I think a lot of people are off-put by the weird windswept trailing edge on INFINITI's newer wares (first done by the JX/QX60, but since copied by the Q50, Q60 and the QX50). And it looks like this doesn't have that. In fact, it looks a lot like the old FX/QX70. The FX was pretty, and looked like nothing else on the road, particularly the first-gen, post-refresh (2006-2008). Granted, the FX was also a RWD-based sports car on stilts, but I think most people bought it for the looks. If INFINITI can recapture any of that with the QX55, they may just see a reward. They won't be able to replicate the FX's long deck with a transverse engine architecture, but they can still make this look elegant.
I don't think styling is the issue of the QX50. Rather, this is the 1st gen of this new 2.0T, and for all of its fancy tech, it gets outperformed by simpler 2.0T 's, such as from BMW in the X3, in terms of power, and efficiency. Compounding this is a mediocre CVT, that magnifies the issue, and should not be in a luxury car. Unless this powertrain gets refined, pronto, Infiniti can stop wasting their time making this crossover. Also, would like to see a version of a 2.0T in the new Rogue, which should help their sagging sales.