Infiniti – Nissan’s Luxury Car Line


Infiniti was first introduced to the American public in November of 1989. The Luxury car division of Nissan has dealers in various countries around the world and has more than 230 dealers.

Surprisingly, in the beginning, the Infiniti brand was poorly received in the United States. That may be due in part to an unusual advertising approach. The initial marketing idea was to rely on a Zen influenced advertising concept. All the commercials produced showed beautiful nature themes that focused on tranquility. As relaxing as the commercials may have been, they were all missing one crucial thing: photos of the vehicles. This proved to be not a good idea when trying to introduce a brand new car line up to the American populace. It is rather difficult to build brand recognition when no brand is being shown. The spots were finally pulled and replaced with commercials that actually showed the vehicles. This combined with several award-winning models finally put Infiniti on the map in the luxury automobile division.

The Q45 lead the way for Infiniti. The vehicle had many desirable features and a top of the line engine at the time. Some of the award winning features included the 278 hp V8 engine, four wheel steering and interior luxury options.

For a while, it seemed that Infiniti would have no problem competing against the likes of Acura, Lexus, BMW or Audi. However, the M30, introduced in 1990, was never able to keep up. There were many reasons for this however some of this most prominent include the lake of various in its engine and transmission. There was only one engine offered with the vehicle which was the 162 horsepower Nissan VG30E V6 3000 and only one transmission, the Nissan RE 4R01A 4 speed automatic. Marketed as a sporty two-door coupe, this engine and transmission combination did not offer near the power that the consumers in this market were looking for. The M30 was never a success and Infiniti discontinued it after just 3 years.

The biggest success for Infiniti during the nineties was the introduction of its Luxury SUV, the QX4. Virtually no one else in the market, besides Land Rover, had anything like the QX4, which for the first time, left Acura and other Luxury automakers scrambling to catch up. The QX4 was built on a truck platform and offered the ability to traverse road conditions in relative luxury.

By the year 2000, Infiniti was losing a lot of ground to the competition and it teetered on the edge of extinction. The company was able to redefine its goals and finally come up with a winner. It was introduction of the G35 that finally took Infiniti back to the top. The sporty sedan was very well received and was named Motor Trend Car of the Year in 2003. Its American version the FX35/45 crossover was as equally successful. Finally, Infiniti had hit upon a winning combination: the handling of a sports car with all terrain capability.

With its redefined goals and focus on what a consumers want in a luxury vehicle, Infiniti appears to have a bright future ahead.


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