Infiniti QX80 to help seize sales

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - The Weekly Advertiser Motoring -

Infiniti Cars Aus­tralia is ex­pect­ing around a 20 per­cent lift in sales vol­ume for its facelifted QX80 up­per-large lux­ury SUV that en­ters show­rooms this month with an un­changed start­ing price.

The Ja­panese-built SUV was one of only two mod­els to grow vol­ume sub­stan­tially last year in Infiniti’s sta­ble, mov­ing from 61 units in 2016 to 85 in 2017, while Infiniti sales over­all dipped from 807 to 776 be­tween those cal­en­dar years.

It was the first time the car-maker has not achieved growth since its lo­cal de­but in 2012.

Infiniti will con­tinue with a $110,900 plus on-road costs price-tag for the me­chan­i­cally un­changed, but lightly facelifted QX80, avoid­ing the trend set by Nis­san in 2015 when it culled the price of the Pa­trol TI-L – on which it is based – by $27,500 to $86,990, al­though the facelifted ver­sion has since risen to $88,990.

How­ever, Nis­san Cars Aus­tralia man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Stephen Lester, whose com­pany over­sees the Infiniti Aus­tralia oper­a­tion, has com­mit­ted to achiev­ing sub­stan­tial growth from the low-vol­ume model and in­sisted that it was an im­por­tant part of the Infiniti line-up lo­cally.

“I don’t think we would ever com­mit to spe­cific num­bers, but ob­vi­ously we want to see sales over 100 units next year,” he said, speak­ing on be­half of Infiniti Cars Aus­tralia man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Chang-hwan Lee who was un­able to at­tend the na­tional media launch of the QX80.

“Sales of the past few weeks have been pretty strong from our re­tail­ers across the coun­try, again in this seg­ment when we’re talk­ing about the vol­umes we have cur­rently, it’s not a sig­nif­i­cant num­ber in the grander au­to­mo­tive sphere, but it’s very sig­nif­i­cant to us,” he said.

“As a brand halo, as a brand shaper in the lux­ury seg­ment, this ve­hi­cle of­fers prob­a­bly the biggest re­fresh of a model that I’ve ever seen, when you think of an Infiniti and what has been done to the front, to the rear and the in­te­rior with­out be­ing an all-new model.

“It’s a much more leather en­sconced pack­age. Much of the cen­tre stack has stayed the same… but it’s bring­ing the level of lux­ury up in the ve­hi­cle with those finer and softer touches. Cer­tainly it brings it in line with all the brand fea­tures from an Infiniti stand­point.”

Mr Lester said he hoped the QX80 would help Infiniti turn its sales slide around this year and end with pos­i­tive growth.

Com­mu­ni­ca­tions around the QX80 will be boosted this year, and in­ter­est from new ri­vals in the up­per-large SUV seg­ment will be lever­aged.

While the Lexus LX570, Mercedesbe­nz GLS and Range Rover were viewed as key com­peti­tors, the pricier Bent­ley Ben­tayga was also listed as an­other ri­val.

“When you con­sider what this seg­ment rep­re­sents and how wide it is… why you would in­clude Bent­ley in that, well this is a hu­mungous seg­ment not just in phys­i­cal size but also who that cus­tomer is and I think cer­tainly the pres­ence of the ve­hi­cle estab­lishes the ve­hi­cle as a force to be reck­oned with in this seg­ment,” Mr Lester said.

OFF-ROAD IN STYLE: Infiniti’s QX80 large SUV will blast into show­rooms this month from $110,900 be­fore on-road costs as the lux­ury brand’s most ex­pen­sive model.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.