Infiniti aims up
Luxury brand has BMW and Lexus in its sights
Infiniti refuses to set sales targets, or get specific about much beyond its first three dealerships in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and its four start-up cars. But is still talking up its chances.
‘‘ These are bold cars. We’re a performance luxury car,not a traditional conservative car,’’ head of Infiniti Australia Kevin Snell tells Carsguide. ‘‘ We don’t do base models that are under-powered.
‘‘ We’re not going after lowspec or low-power prestige brands that are bought for the badge. These are cars for people who want to drive.’’
Infiniti’s headliner is the FX SUV, priced from $83,900 for an FX 37 GT with 3.7-litre V6 up to— for now—$94,900 for the FX30d with 3.0-litre V6 turbo diesel. Eventually an FX50, at $114,900, will have a 287kW V8.
The mid-sizeMsedan starts with a 3.7-litre V6 at $85,900. The M35 with 3.5-litre V6 hybrid powertrain is $99,900.
Late in the year there will be G coupe and convertible models, with prices to be revealed. An all-new G sedan arrives in about 18 months.
Snell confirms a Lexus-style approach to equipment levels, with fully loaded specification sheets— big wheels, punchy audio, leather trim, bi-xenon headlamps and much more— across the Infiniti family. There are extras but Infiniti is avoiding a never-endingBMW style list of options.
‘‘ We think the FX looks best with 20-inch wheels, so that’s what it has. Standard,’’ he says.
He also trumpets a four-year warranty with premium roadside assistance that even includes family breakdowns in non-Infiniti cars.
But there is nothing from him on the tough stuff— sales projections. ‘‘ We’re not trying to sell thousands of cars in our first year. It’s three dealers and four cars,’’ he says.
‘‘ It’s a controlled launch. We’re going for a trickle-down approach. I’mnot going to give a specific sales number.’’
In reality— and inBMW style— Infiniti is going first for the early adopters who are prepared to splash their cash for something new, different and a bit special.
‘‘ We believe we’ve got the product and the brand,’’ Snell says.
His five-year plan is to matchBMWon the driving front and Lexus for customer service, with the Japanese brand in the cross-hairs.
FX crossover: The Infiniti SUV starts the range at $83,900