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Archive for the ‘Infiniti’ Category

Porsche Takes Top Spot in 2018 Power Sales Satisfaction Index

Survey shows that dealers who text secure more deals.

by Michael Strong on Nov.14, 2018

Porsche took first place in JD Power's 2018 Sales Satisfaction Index, ahead of Infiniti and Lexus.

New car customers rated Porsche as the top brand in J.D. Power released its annual Sales Satisfaction Index (SSI) Study today and Porsche took top honors overall while Mini was the leader in the “mass market” category while Porsche is considered a luxury car.

The study reviews the sales process, such as how the customer and the dealer interact. The average score was an 823. The big take away from this year’s study? Despite recent claims that people want to haggle face-to-face, Power’s results reveal that customers prefer to be contacted via digital communications such as text message, but it happens less often than desired.

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“These aren’t apples to apples comparisons by any means, but the scores are clear indicators of where shoppers and buyers are going, especially as the consumer base gains a larger mix of younger customers,” said Chris Sutton, Vice President of the Automotive Retail Practice at J.D. Power. (more…)

Nissan Profits Fall 8% in First Half of Fiscal Year

Sales hit in North American while China grows.

by Michael Strong on Nov.08, 2018

Nissan CFO Hiroshi Karube reported the company's profits fell 8% overall due to falling sales in North America and Europe.

Nissan Motor Co. reported an 8% drop in quarterly profits due to declining sales in its biggest markets, North America and Europe, as well as hits on raw material costs.

The Japanese automaker reported quarterly profits of 130.4 billion yen, or $1.1 billion, on Thursday, down from 141.6 billion yen the same period a year earlier. The automaker noted that quarterly sales fell nearly 3% to 2.82 trillion yen, or $24.8 billion.

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However, this dip in profits wasn’t enough for Nissan to revise its forecast for the fiscal year through March for a 500 billion yen, or $4.4 billion, profit on 12 trillion yen, or $106 billion, sales. (more…)

Future of Alliance with Nissan/Renault the Big Question as Zetsche Prepares to End Role as Daimler CEO

Zetche and Nissan/Renault’s Ghosn insist there is more to come during Paris new conference.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Oct.03, 2018

Zetsche and Ghosn first met when the German exec was working at Freightliner and the Brazilian-born Ghosn worked for Michelin.

Since launching the first in a broad series of joint ventures nine years ago, Daimler AG and the Nissan/Renault/Mitsubishi Alliance have generated what they claim to be billions of dollars in “synergies” that have allowed them to expand their product lines and grow into new markets.

But in recent months, the future of that partnership has come under question. The last major new project was announced three years ago. And now, with Daimler Chief Executive Dieter Zetsche planning to relinquish the CEO title next year, that has raised new questions about whether his successor, Ola Kallenius, would keep the alliance going.

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“Without the chemistry between us, maybe this wouldn’t have happened,” said Zetsche, during a joint news conference with Nissan/Renault/Mitsubishi Alliance chief Carlos Ghosn. But considering the results the partnership has generated, “I don’t see from my perspective why the momentum in this relationship should change.”

(more…)

Uncovered: Infiniti Project Black S

“Engineering testbed” puts F1 technology in Q60 coupe.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Oct.01, 2018

Infiniti's Project Black S is a key component to the luxury brand's expansion into electric vehicles.

Long a laggard in the luxury market, Infiniti has been making some serious moves to boost credibility over the last few years, notably by fleshing out its line-up with an array of sportier new models like the Q60 coupe.

Its also introduced new technology like the breakthrough VC-Turbo engine and teased the idea of challenging the likes of BMW’s M and Mercedes’ AMG performance lines. So far, prototypes haven’t turned into production models, but there seems to be something a little more serious about the Infiniti Project Black S that’s making its formal debut at this week’s Paris Motor Show.

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The concept starts out as an Infiniti Q60, but it has the beating heart of a dual-hybrid powertrain based heavily upon what you’ll find in a Renault Sport Formula One car. It’s the next step in a series of design and engineering exercises pickup up on the concept introduced at the Geneva Motor Show in early 2017. And while Infiniti will only say that it is looking at “what could be deployed in a road car,” the latest effort seems to be moving much closer to reality. (more…)

Project Black S Prototype Shows Infiniti’s Electric Future in Paris

Nissan's luxury brand moving to EVs for 2021.

by Michael Strong on Sep.27, 2018

The Infiniti Project Black S fuses high-performance dual-hybrid technology with brand’s award-winning VR30 3.0-liter V6 twin-turbo engine.

Infiniti is ready to storm into Paris next month revealing its progress toward the electrification of its portfolio by 2021 with the new Project Black S prototype.

The prototype, which started as a design study in 2017, features Formula One dual-hybrid electric power train technology adapted for use in an everyday driver. It also showcases the advantages of being part of a large conglomerate as experts from across the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance all played a role in its development.

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“The Project Black S represents the very top end of electrification in the Alliance portfolio, and is another example of Infiniti’s entrepreneurial spirit on its journey to electrification from 2021 onward,” said Roland Krueger, chairman and global president at Infiniti, in a statement.  (more…)

Lexus, Volvo Tie for Top Spot in New Brand Survey

Overall, consumers slightly happier with ownership experience.

by Michael Strong on Aug.30, 2018

Volvo tied with Lexus for the top brand honors in the latest ACSI survey, receiving its highest score ever.

Vehicle owners in the U.S. are slightly happier with their ownership experience this year than last year, according to the latest American Customer Satisfaction Index.

The index, which is the result of surveys of car owners on their overall service and product experience with specific auto brands, creates a score between 1 to 100. According to the latest edition, the industry-wide score for 2018 is 82, up from 81 in 2017.

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“Car owners are often highly satisfied—they’ve kicked the tires enough times that they’re happy with their decision when they buy,” said David VanAmburg, managing director at ACSI.  (more…)

Infiniti Goes Back to the Future with Prototype 10

Concept is the "manifestation" of brand's future powertrain strategy.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Aug.24, 2018

Infiniti's Prototype 10 takes the retro styling of the Prototype 9 to a new level at this year's Pebble Beach Concours.

There’s something odd about the Infiniti Prototype 10. Catch a glimpse of it from one angle and you’re transported back to an earlier era of motorsports. Nose-on, however, the concept speedster takes on a very modern appearance.

Infiniti has been teasing us with heavily disguised images of the Prototype 10 for some weeks, now, finally giving us a good look at the one-off model during a preview helping mark the start of the annual classic car weekend on the Monterey Peninsula that wraps up with the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.

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The luxury arm of Nissan has been a familiar corporate face at Pebble Beach, just last revealing the Prototype 9, an even more retro-shaped concept race car. What that model and the Infiniti Prototype 9 have in common, however, is what the maker calls the “physical manifestation” of its future powertrain strategy. With only a rare model or two, all future Infiniti products, it seems, will migrate to some form of electrification, from plug-in hybrid to pure battery-electric, like the powertrain in the Prototype 10. (more…)

Infiniti Electrifies the “Classic Speedster” with Pebble Beach Concept

Japanese luxury maker offers a more revealing tease of Prototype 10.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Aug.16, 2018

The Infiniti Prototype 10 is meant to give the classic roadster a battery-powered kick.

Infiniti is doing a slow fan dance as it begins to reveal the “daring electrified speedster” it will formally unveil at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance later this month.

It’s the latest in a series of extreme concepts and more conventional production models that the Japanese luxury brand has brought to the annual Pebble Beach event and the new Prototype 10 is meant to highlight Infiniti’s planned shift to electrifying future products.

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Electrifying!

“It is appropriate that we found inspiration in an optimistic bygone era in which cars were characterized by the simple love of driving,” says Karim Habib, Infiniti’s Executive Design Director. But while Prototype 10 may be meant to celebrate what Habib calls “some of the most evocative car designs of all time, where power was celebrated through high – powered single – seat competition cars,” it is anything but a retro-mobile. (more…)

Infiniti Set to Reveal “Electrified” Concept at Pebble Beach

Show car will “underline the electrified performance theme."

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Aug.09, 2018

Infiniti is offering a tease of its Pebble Beach Concept.

It’s going to be a busy week when everyone starts rolling into California for the week-long celebration leading up to the annual Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. Automakers from around the world are promising to use the Concours and related events as backdrop to unveil an array of production cars and concepts later this month.

That includes Infiniti which today dropped some hints about the electric luxury model it will launch on the Pebble Beach show. While the Nissan luxury brand is being coy about details, it hints that the show car will “underline the electrified performance theme” that it has announced for future products, virtually all models set to be offered with some form of battery-based drivetrain – with an emphasis on plug-in hybrids and pure battery-electric vehicles.

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“Our new concept provides clues to where the Infiniti brand is heading,” said the brand’s design director Karim Habib, in a statement accompanying this teaser image. “For us, electrification means performance – our electrified cars will be powerful, efficient, and a joy to drive, and the new concept is a physical representation of our electrified performance future.”

(more…)

First Drive: 2018 Infiniti Q60 Red Sport 400 AWD

Brand's new sports coupe drives the way it looks.

by Joseph Szczesny on Jul.27, 2018

In world of sport-utilities, Infiniti is running with the "sport" only with its new Q60 sports coupe.

Boxy sport-utility vehicles seem to rule the roads, but it is still possible to find a nicely shaped sporty coupe that goes a step or several steps beyond the utilitarian such as the Infiniti Q60.

Sitting at the curb the Q60 is drop-dead gorgeous. At the same time, it’s also a lot of fun to drive, comes with a well-appointed interior and has a full-portfolio of the latest technology for safety and connectivity.

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The exterior of the two-door Infiniti Q60 is not only beautiful but it also has a distinctive sporty and luxurious character that comes out whether the car sitting still at the curb or out on the road. It looks impressive — like an expensive automobile should. (more…)