What's wrong with Infiniti?

ssun30

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Ultimately, the Highlander won out because of versatility, extra space and price, but my point in telling you all of this is that when Lexus unleashes the RX L, it will be a very, very hard time for Acura and Infiniti dealers. The interior of the RX feels 2 classes above the MDX and at least one above the QX60. The RX also outshines both on the road with passenger comfort, smoothness and powertrain refinement. The MDX drives kind of hard and while it handles decently, it doesn't give you the same feeling of quality and solidarity that an RX does. QX60 felt slow and unresponsive because of the CVT.
I mean this is pretty much a given. Honda/Nissan has basically given up their premium effort so it shouldn't really be a surprise Lexus' bread-and-butter models crush competitor's abandonded child comfortably. The RX-L will be extremely hard to beat and I doubt anyone will even bother trying to compete against it.
 
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spwolf

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I mean this is pretty much a given. Honda/Nissan has basically given up their premium effort so it shouldn't really be a surprise Lexus' bread-and-butter models crush competitor's abandonded child comfortably. The RX-L will be extremely hard to beat and I doubt anyone will even bother trying to compete against it.
Nissan has certainly not abandoned Infiniti, but they cant wave a magic wand to introduce 10 new models they need...
 

Trexus

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Nissan has certainly not abandoned Infiniti, but they cant wave a magic wand to introduce 10 new models they need...
Infiniti hasn't had a flagship since the Q45. Bring back the original naming structure.

Q45 = LS
M45 = GS
G37 = IS
I35 = ES
 

mmcartalk

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Infiniti hasn't had a flagship since the Q45. Bring back the original naming structure.

Q45 = LS
M45 = GS
G37 = IS
I35 = ES

The last-generation Q45 didn't sell in the U.S., though. Just sat in the showrooms. They couldn't give it away, even with 10K or more discounts.
 

meth.ix

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Infiniti is getting better in my opinion and (seems like) it isn't that much of a rebadged Nissan with a couple more features anymore. Acura however, is pretty disappointing and Honda seems to have put little effort into their Acura models. One thing that would help both these companies would be to become a worldwide manufacturer instead of just in North America (that's what I'm aware of) and being sold with the Nissan/Honda badge elsewhere. This would help the brands differentiate more and make them higher priorities for their parent companies. After all, it's working for Toyota.
 

ssun30

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Infiniti hasn't had a flagship since the Q45. Bring back the original naming structure.

Q45 = LS
M45 = GS
G37 = IS
I35 = ES
Infiniti made the mistake of letting its second-in-line creep into the flagship so today's Q70 ended up in no-man's land. They wanted the M to be more competitive but ended up making it too big and powerful that eventually dethroned the Q. It's like Mercedes saying "screw the S-class let's just make a really big E-class LWB". Although to be fair, the main problem has always been that the Q45 didn't achieve the level of success LS enjoyed.
 

Carmaker1

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The Q70 will get some attention soon, but expect it to be the same Y51 generation that entered production 8 years ago in December 2009 for MY2011.

Basic body design for that was already finished in 2007, so I am not pleased it will be around longer.

Anything you see at NAIAS, don't count on it. No flagship on the way. Production Q80 was designed, then aborted.

The Q50, Q60, and QX80 will be redesigned in calendar years 2021 and 2022. QX70 too, as the Infiniti Murano ;)

A Mitsubishi-based model will join (Q40?). QX60 redesign was pushed back, despite a January 2016 final design proposal approval.

Anything can change with this company, so watch out.
 
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Carmaker1

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Infiniti made the mistake of letting its second-in-line creep into the flagship so today's Q70 ended up in no-man's land. They wanted the M to be more competitive but ended up making it too big and powerful that eventually dethroned the Q. It's like Mercedes saying "screw the S-class let's just make a really big E-class LWB". Although to be fair, the main problem has always been that the Q45 didn't achieve the level of success LS enjoyed.
Even if the styling was not to everyone's taste, the last generation Q45 was an excellent offering in comparison to its predecessor.

So many America-firsts and global firsts were introduced on this car.

Sadly, the poorly done facelift from 2004, the Fuga-based Y50 M45 eclipsing it, recovering from the disappointing "Q41" predecessor, and limited marketing after 2001 launch year did it in.

Almost seemed like the name of its brand was "Invisible", based on the lack of marketing. From 2000-03, the LS 430 was hardly attractive, yet managed to maintain a customer base.

A well-executed heavy facelift in the vein of a sportier alternative to the less svelte Bangle 7-series, would have made it more viable than the Old GM Buick style update it got.

There were amenities offered on the 2006 M45 starting in early 2005, that you couldn't even get on the Q45. Less 2 years later, hiatus was inevitable.

The FX50's VK50VE 5.0 litre V8 engine was developed intially for the 4th generation Q flagship, allegedly stalled by the Great Recession.
 

mmcartalk

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Infiniti made the mistake of letting its second-in-line creep into the flagship so today's Q70 ended up in no-man's land. They wanted the M to be more competitive but ended up making it too big and powerful that eventually dethroned the Q. It's like Mercedes saying "screw the S-class let's just make a really big E-class LWB". Although to be fair, the main problem has always been that the Q45 didn't achieve the level of success LS enjoyed.
The Q45 never had the marketing, or firm design-intention, that the LS had. The original 1990 Q45 was far more sport-oriented than the original LS, with more power, firmer suspension/underpinnings, firmer seats, a lack of wood-trim inside, somewhat less sound-insulation, and more responsive handling. It basically sat in showrooms and didn't sell, while customers flocked to the LS. So, the 2Gen Q45 attempted to address that, with a smaller engine, less power, richer trim inside (including wood), somewhat cushier seats/suspension/underpinings, and, in general, a higher level of comfort. There was even a version (Q45a) with an electronic, active-suspension. No dice. The 2Gen basically sat in showrooms, just like the original one, because by then, the LS, helped by clever, soothing-voice TV ads by James (Mr. Lexus) Sloyan, had become not only the very definition of the quiet, well-built, comfortable luxury vehicle, but practically cult-status as well. So, for the third (and last) generation of the Q45, Infiniti essentially did a compromise between the first two.....and still no sales, even with 10K or more discounts. I remember, when I was at a local Infiniti shop back then doing a review, they told me they were asking 38K for 54K Q45 in the showroom....and they still couldn't move it. Little wonder that Infiniti finally gave up on it in the U.S. market.

To this day, even in the D.C. area, where almost everything sells, I know of just one person who actually bought a Q45 (a old co-worker of mine from before I retired)....and he bought a used one. :rolleyes:
 

mmcartalk

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Back to the topic at hand (the Q45 is basically old news), what is wrong with Infiniti, today, at least IMO, is that their products, despite a little more wood-tone trim and leather inside, look and drive too much like Nissans (you could say the same for Acura and Honda, to an extent). Toyota and Lexus products, on the other hand, at least IMO, have somewhat more differentiation in the way they look and drive.
 

Ian Schmidt

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Back to the topic at hand (the Q45 is basically old news), what is wrong with Infiniti, today, at least IMO, is that their products, despite a little more wood-tone trim and leather inside, look and drive too much like Nissans (you could say the same for Acura and Honda, to an extent). Toyota and Lexus products, on the other hand, at least IMO, have somewhat more differentiation in the way they look and drive.
On a lot of Acuras and Infinitis you can look at them side-by-side with the Honda/Nissan and tell which trim pieces changed. It's nearly as bad as 80s/90s GM badge-engineering.
 

mikeavelli

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I don't think there is anything wrong with Infiniti. The facts are competition is so tense and tough with the Germans/Lexus and now even Porsche, Maserati and even brands like Kia/Hyundai/Lincoln etc. Recent articles show they will be happy with their niche. People need to drop the expectations that another big player is coming. Audi figured it out here and it took decades and was no easy road with minimal missteps the last ten years. I don't think there is room for another luxury brand selling 200-300k cars here. They are going after the growing SUV/CUV market which is smart and adapted.

They are not building a new Q45/flagship since that market is now super saturated and success would be very very tough. They didn't make it against just the LS/S/7 in the 90s/2000s. Today you have a new A8/Panamera/Tesla Model S/G90/Quattroporte let alone even players like the A7 etc. In American Audi sells around 400-600 A8s a month. I highly doubt they would sell more than half that with a very image conscience market when you are dropping 90-110k on a flagship.

Struggles have been well documented so no need to rehash them over and over. Their sales have never been better here and internationally due a ton to the 7 seat QX70. The QX80 also has been a tremendous success.
 
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Doug chimed in on Infiniti...I don't think his opinion was much different than what we had here about Nissan and their mismanagement, and how Infiniti stays in business with its very cheap lease deals on Q50/60s. Johan changing the model names from G was a huge mistake. And they have old products too, which even Lexus has done as well, but their management has been that bad that they no longer sell in Europe or Australia.
 

mikeavelli

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Doug chimed in on Infiniti...I don't think his opinion was much different than what we had here about Nissan and their mismanagement, and how Infiniti stays in business with its very cheap lease deals on Q50/60s. Johan changing the model names from G was a huge mistake. And they have old products too, which even Lexus has done as well, but their management has been that bad that they no longer sell in Europe or Australia.
It’s amazing this gets tons of views and it brought no new information and like you said, it’s been discussed.

He was wrong too the LX 450 predates the QX4 by a few months
 
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He was wrong too the LX 450 predates the QX4 by a few months
They essentially came out on the market at the same time. Also throw in the Acura SLX too. At that time, all the Japanese were on the same page on SUV strategy since I believe 96 was when all these came out?

I’m going to guess Doug reads a lot of the forums and sources like Automotive news and Bloomberg. And perhaps he would make a video on Lexus.
 

Levi

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The QX4 (from my internet knowledge) was a nice SUV. It was replaced by an also very nice CUV (remaining RWD, unlike every other SUV/CUV that went FWD recent years) the FX, being for IMO the best CUV ever made (because Lexus never made the HPX). The FX was still their best selling car, a big one which could build image. But they abandoned it. Thank you Ghosn!
 

mikeavelli

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They essentially came out on the market at the same time. Also throw in the Acura SLX too. At that time, all the Japanese were on the same page on SUV strategy since I believe 96 was when all these came out?

I’m going to guess Doug reads a lot of the forums and sources like Automotive news and Bloomberg. And perhaps he would make a video on Lexus.
Wow forgot about the SLX

Okay they pulled out of Western Europe and Australia. Didn’t realize they left South Africa too

 
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CRSKTN

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Nissan's mistake was not using the GT R as a nitrous injection for the infiniti brand.

Infiniti should have basically been "Project GT R Extreme Sport/ G T R Luxury".

You make everything a derivative of it. You use the AWD on everything. SUVs, Sedans, etc.

If you had a G** named vehicle, as a smaller brother to the GT R, and undercut the german competition on price, how is that not like the same relative market niche the GT R has for targeting supercars, but for the M3 level vehicle segment. An M3 fighter with Infiniti styling, and an architecture that could be described as baby godzilla, at a very competitive price? Killer. It would earn a lot of mindshare for the rest of the lineup.

They should have leaned into performance. Offered higher performance as a trademark of the lineup than competitors. Their styling is great, they've done fine on that mostly. More variety would be good, and detail work is behind the competition, and they need new interior people, but great otherwise.

Just like how Acura should've made a bunch of partnerships with R&D heavy startups to try and advance radical driving technologies (including partnerships with F1), that they could exclusively or semi-exclusively deliver through their products. Combine that with early adopter attitude towards carplay/android auto, or just a general focus on high quality in vehicle tech compared to other japanese rivals (not a high bar), that would've been a good combination.

They also need to lean into their culture more. I want to see special colorways each year, with japanese themed ones once in a while, or throwbacks to their historic motorsport lineages.

Luckily they're finally leaning into it at TMC with things like the GR Yaris.
 

Levi

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I have learned that the ZDX was planned to be RWD based on the new RWD Legend platfrom with NA V8. With Acura V10 LFA rival cancelled and RWD platform too, ZDX came with ugly FWD proportions. Japanese slept 10 years. When they planned V8 the Germans already were going V8 (and V6, I6, I4) turbo.
 
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