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Why has Infiniti failed and what can be done to save it? | Steve Hammes

Why has Infiniti failed and what can be done to save it? | Steve Hammes

Infiniti is celebrating its 30th anniversary
but it’s a far cry from cupcakes and balloons. Times are tough for the brand’s 205 U.S.
dealers. Nissan’s luxury division has seen sales
decrease for 11 straight months with declines across all 7 nameplates – 2 of which have
been discontinued for the 2020 model year. Their clear sales leader – the QX60 3-row
crossover SUV – hasn’t been completely redesigned since 2012. Infiniti sales officially started on November
8, 1989, launching with 2 models: the Q45 performance luxury sedan and the M30 performance
luxury coupe. Interestingly, Infiniti has never been offered
in its home market of Japan. In recent years, missteps with the launch
of the compact Q50 sports sedan, underwhelming introduction of the brand’s first legitimate
small SUV the QX50 and an aging lineup without enough utility vehicles has dampened enthusiasm
for what was once the fastest growing luxury brand in the U.S. In the meanwhile, Infiniti recently debuted
its Edition 30 vehicles across all 5 existing models featuring a number of distinctive design
touches. Available in 3 colors – Black, Graphite
and White – with additions like dark finish wheels, dark chrome details, unique graphite
interior and the inclusion of ProASSIST package driver assistance features as standard, the
Edition 30 Package varies in price per vehicle, ranging from $2,000 for the QX50 Essential
to $5,700 for the QX80 Luxe. 2020 models, with the exception of the QX60,
are available with Infiniti’s new-generation infotainment system with an HD twin-screen
setup including standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, WiFi hotspot and improved navigation. What’s next for Infiniti? An electrified future – including fully
electric systems as well as gas-generated EV systems known as e-POWER at Nissan. From 2021, most of the Infiniti lineup will
get a charge, likely beginning with an electric crossover based on the QX Inspiration concept.

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62 thoughts on “Why has Infiniti failed and what can be done to save it? | Steve Hammes

  1. I have a Q50 and love it, but I get why their sales are falling. They don’t update them like they need to. They find something that works, and stick with it. Whereas most luxury car brands find something that works, and then continue to improve it, Infiniti never wants to redesign a vehicle. Slight updates here and there and that’s it. Again, love my Infiniti, but unless Infiniti gets their heads out of their rear ends and starts really competing with their German and Japanese rivals, I will not buy another one.

  2. Bringing back the vq 3.7 might help. I'd still buy a 3.7 q50s but I'd shy away from the new 3.0tt, I think the dual screens turn people off just like in acuras sedans

  3. I’m disappointed in Infiniti. I felt like it was the only Japanese brand that could compete with BMW on fun to drive levels. I remember back in 2007 when the M35 and G35 were true competition. Now fast forward today and they are just rental cars.

  4. It's unfortunate that Nissan and Infiniti isn't doing well it would very sad for the car community if both brands cease to exist I don't want any brand to go away except Mitsubishi

  5. Personally…I find Infiniti ugly and boring…in 2018 while in Atlanta, Avis had assigned me a rental 2017/18 Q70…car had 26000 miles or so…it felt dated and cliche for an old person at 26. The entertainment/navigation really felt like the mid 2000's. The car had cupped tires and alignment off brought it back to the airport and they gave me a new 1200 MI MB GLE350 and I was happy…I'm just a German car person, they "feel more serious" in quality..

  6. they had some really cool models especially the G35/37 which I used to see all over the place. I remember when Nissan/Infinti was more of a Driver's brand over Lexus/Toyota, Honda/Acura. Cars always seemed a little faster and meaner but they couldn't beat Toyotas and Hondas reputation for reliability and the advertising was strange. I love the original Qs, the M45s and G37s.

    I mean, Nissan has been selling the same Frontier for 15 years.

  7. Infiniti needs complete autonomy. Luxury buyers are difficult to please, you can't just offer them a dolled up Nissan. Complete overhaul from R&D to design to engineering.

  8. Infiniti’s success (obviously) is tied to Nissan’s success, and Nissan on the whole hasn’t built a captivating or truly competitive vehicle in over a decade. It’s puzzling because in the early and mid-00s, both brands, to me at least, seemed to be on the upswing. Then they just seemed to give up entirely. The G37 was the last appealing car they had and it of course is long gone. I don’t have all the answers, but I can offer them a place to start: abandon and forever banish the bizarre “Q” naming scheme. It’s confusing, unnecessary and frankly baffling why they went with it in the first place.

  9. Infiniti can be saved sometime around when Acura is saved.
    Acura has better odds right now, with the RDX a major hit, and a new TLX that looks like a winner finally worthy of battling the Lexus ES. They are a MDX redesign away from being on a roll. Infiniti hitting Flop City with the all-new QX50 really hurts. And they can't even build a flagship sedan now, because Americans aren't buying sedans. They had their chance their and they blew it, from Day One, with the original Q45.

    1:10 Lipstick on a bunch of pigs

    Going electric is fine, once you figure out why anyone would buy your EV over a Tesla?
    Why would anybody go to an Infiniti dealership period?

    Acura will never have top-tier cache, and is destined to sell their 150-200k vehicles for years to come
    They seem just fine with that.
    Infiniti probably will not even be that adequate.
    Lincoln has a brighter future than Infiniti.

  10. Personally, I feel Infiniti's downward spiral started when Johan de Nysschen was in charge and he changed the names of all the models confusing everyone. Followed by no modern improvements the company flushed itself down the toilet. It's too late to be revived. Years of incompetent management have made it impossible to survive.

  11. Nissan in general seems to be broken. I’m not certain, but it seems like they completely lost their mojo when they started shifting everything to CVTs. It seems like there’s only so many people willing to buy Nissan’s CVTs and it’s killed the fun of their cars in my opinion. Some have become watered-down rubbery-driving appliances. And with Nissan sticking to their guns with the CVTs, that has to limit their potential with Infiniti (the Infiniti crossover that shares a platform with the Pathfinder comes to mind). And there’s the other issue: with Infiniti’s nomenclature and the doubled-down restructuring of it with the “Q-Number” format under the guidance of former-CEO Johan De Nysschen has zapped the average person’s ability to know their line-up by model name.

    And we know this has been a problem for brands, when Cadillac hired Mr. De Nysschen, he had them commit to the “Letter-Number” nomenclature even though there were signs was already going out of style in the industry at that point. Then Cadillac, not only for that reason, fired De Nysschen too. Now Cadillac, under new direction, has taken note of Lincoln’s awareness to the success of nomenclature formatting, and has also decided to go back to “real” names for their vehicle models.

    Infiniti & Nissan have a lot of changes that need to be done in order to refresh the brand in the eyes of the market. It would be exciting to see if they could turn it around quickly.

  12. i was really disappointed when they started with the weird Q designations, then they said they were going to bring out more IPL models and that never happened, then the Q60 happened, and it all added up to me losing all interest in their products.

  13. They are a cheap alternative and they quality is very bad and they don’t provide good customer service , I bought a 2019 qx80 and the brake licked while I was slowing down and the car slid and I made an accident and they refused even to investigate , I don’t recommend the brand at all

  14. I switched from Lexus to Infiniti years ago because Lexus was boring and Infiniti was in a major upswing; it’s now so unfortunate that the inverse has come about. Had Infiniti kept their focus on driver-focused SUVs with serious power considering the market’s current trend and expanded their IPL brand, they perhaps could be doing much better. I have a G with the sport package that I love and once seriously considered an FX50S. The only model I would consider now is the Q60S and even that doesn’t have the character and “muscular” aesthetic the G sedan & coupe possessed. The SUVs are horribly outdated [a fancy Armada, Pathfinder, Rogue] and the CVT makes the QX60 & QX50 even worse. The dual screen layout and outdated Nissan gauge clusters and ergonomics are also horrible. Driving loaners when my G is being serviced makes me cringe. 😖 Infiniti needs to get back to driver-focused models to even take a step in the right direction again. I love my G but I’m so disappointed in their current offerings. With Genesis and others making a true stance, I’m seriously considering my next purchase elsewhere. — Thanks for the info as always, Steve!

  15. Infiniti has “decent” products to be competitive…like the QX80 in the full-size luxury category. It rides well with a smooth and compliant suspension. Has very good use of interior space with a good third row of seats and is pretty roomy. Strong power from the trusty 5.6 V8. The look is polarizing but it grows on you if you see it enough. The technology is DATED!! Steering is typical of the class{dead and vague}and the interior is DATED…but for some odd reason, they won’t invest in them. Like, the money and the product aren’t gonna make themselves! I wonder who controls their operating budget???

  16. Name changes, poor resale value, and dated interiors are just the beginning. The same guy who tanked Cadillac was at Infiniti first. Either revamp or die are the only two options. Personally, I love their exterior design language.

  17. JUNK JATCO/NISSAN CVT TRANSMISSION has absolutely killed any momentum that the Infiniti brand had. Its resale value is abysmal. Badge-engineered Nissans, with resulting horrendous reliability. 🤬🤬

  18. I love Infiniti the lineup has gone downhill being luxury division of Nissan it needs to come back even its cousin Nissan getting better for 2020 the new lineup of cars as Sentra, Versa and Altima even Lexus is ahead of their game Infiniti needs to come back just how it was in early 90s and 2000s.

  19. I was hoping for great things with the 19 QX50 but the reviews have been pretty bad. In addition, the real world fuel economy of the new turbo four has not proving promising. Oh well…The G35/37 is still one of my favorite sedans from the last 10 years.

  20. I like what you're doing here steve. Nice take and refreshing.

    I'm really sad that Infiniti isnt what it once started out to be. And it's has everything to do with the steps the company took. Model name changes, lack of advancements, poor marketing, to name a few items.

    With the G coupe/sedan, the company looked very promising and provided a nice substitute to the bmw 3 series. It's really annoying that they couldn't continue to improve their lineup while cratering to the enthusiasts in us.

    Oh well, were stuck with the bimmers and Benz of the worlds.

  21. Infiniti is lazy, period. Very sad I would have purchased another car but they don’t move forward. They should be giving Lexus a run for their money.

  22. Very much disappointed with infiniti since thye killed the Q45, they are never on track, killing the qx70 also, Q70 is dead!!
    Looks like thye don't care anymore Hyundai is doing far more better today that's sad.

  23. It's Nissan's PREMIUM division, not luxury. Why don't Americans understand the official industry lingo? Bentley, Rolls-Royce and Maybach are luxury brands, while Mercedes, Audi, BMW, Lexus, Mini, Porsche, Tesla, Land Rover/Range Rover, Acura, Infiniti and Genesis are premium brands.

  24. I think they need to have better competitive pricing. and definitely like Nissan needs to update the Infotainment systems. All there Engines in the line ups are pretty nice tho. They may have to Resolve that division. will see.. thanx for showing a different side of it.

  25. The merger with Renault was terrible for Infiniti and Nissan. Before Renault, Nissan quality was very close to Honda and Toyota. It's now similar to GM.

  26. I have a 2015 QX60 and I can assure you we, more my wife then me, will not have another INFINITI in our garage. I don’t mind the ride quality, which suits me just fine, but the overall quality of the vehicle is subpar and the dealer services have been terrible. From water leaks to 4 unplanned dealership visits within the first year, INFINITI doesn’t hold water to our older Lexus RX350.

  27. Steve, you have to fix Nissan first before you can fix/focus on Infiniti. 10yo+ chassis/interior designs don't cut it and consumers are catching on. Maybe Infiniti are not worth their "premium" over a Nissan and not attractive compared to other lux marks. However, fixing Nissan is a tall order, but for starters, they can start by putting less effort/money into the GT-R ($100k+ car) and shift expenses to more affordable (sub $40k), fun to drive, rwd options….and ditch the cvt.

  28. They updated 2020 infotainment… new models for 2021…y’all dramatic. Obviously the product line is in between updates. Their ceo trashed they have to lick wounds

  29. Years ago, Nissan/Infiniti was a good automotive company; however, it has now has fallen far, far behind its competition. Poor and corrupt leadership (Carlos Ghosn), lack of innovative products (most models are rebadged Nissans) and quality/reliability issues are all culprits for Infiniti's demise. This company needs a healthy dose of life saving measures to succeed in this very competitive automotive market.

  30. Nissan after merger(s) have not had good reliability, there is questionable quality control — bought few new Nissan(s) myself and not a single one of them made beyond 100k miles without having major problems. Why would anyone pay so much money for these vehicles and not buy Lexus?

  31. I have always liked Infinit. In my opinion the G-series was the highlight for Infiniti – particularly the G37 series. Where Infiniti has lost the battle is truly the lack of meaning of their cars. They create great cars – but they lack substance. Infiniti is a confused brand with an unclear identity. When they changed the G-series to the Q-series people were expecting big changes – instead it was a minor refresh at best – this is after the G-series having been around for seven years or so without any changes. In my opinion they need a new message, a new design philosophy and most importantly a new identity. Without those changes – it's going to be a rough ride for the automaker. Infiniti needs to become an exciting brand again.

  32. Seems like the only Infiniti model worth buying is the Q50, maybe also the Q60. Even then, I’d get the 3.7 liter and not anything else.

  33. It´s such a sad story about a total management failure.

    Maybe they were trying to reduce the costs and took the wrong turn. Ten years ago they had some great cars in their portfolio but now every single one is outdated. At least here in Europe the QX70 5.0 was available up to the end of 2018 and although they completely will withdraw from Western Europe this spring I will keep mine, because it still is such great car to drive and it still shows what they have been capable of.

  34. They shifted from true car enthusiasts focus to mass focus which made them lose both markets (FX G35 G37 were true car enthusiasts dreams then they shifted to CVT and 4cyl engine on the Q50) changed from "inspired performance" to "empower the #sales" ☹️

  35. Took too long to bring Apple CarPlay/Android Auto and prices were too high for navigation package. This made a lot of long time Infiniti owners switch to Acura and other brands. Infiniti did nothing serious to retain these customers. Now Infiniti is in trouble

  36. I have had my 2006 Infiniti QX56 for now 13 years with over 200k miles. Their prices going sky high and the lack of true updates since then has been very disappointing. Also after the M35/M45 during that time as well, they have fail to complete with German Cars and Most Asian brands. So sad.

  37. I think Infiniti and Lincoln deserve more consideration from consumers. At least their vehicles are attractive and fun to drive.

  38. Had a 2017 QX80 and loved it. Lease ended and picked up a 2019 BMW X7. What a total trash bag. Couldn’t have been more unhappy. Absolute garbage. Returned that junk and got into a 2019 QX80. So glad to be back. Looking forward to the 2021 QX80!

  39. I’m disappointed in Infiniti because it seems that their vehicles are more expensive with less features. I have a 2018 Q50 w/Nav (works better than the Nav on my phone – on phn always too soon or too late when it comes to turning). I would have to upgrade to a higher Q50 for 2020 just to get my Nav because the excuse I got was Millennials don’t want Nav but Apple/Android and want to use their phone for Nav this not wanting to pay for Nav. My question is, apparently Millennials don’t travel too far or outside the dead zone areas of cell phone service. I would love to stay with Infiniti but it seems like Nissan has shown lots of LOVE towards Nissan and treats Infiniti like a red headed step child!!!

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