A Brief History Of Infiniti

When Nissan started their Infiniti brand of automobiles, the purpose was to establish a presence in the luxury automobile market. Looking back on the development of the brand, it looks like it has been a largely successful endeavor. Infiniti now makes some of the more well known luxury cars and SUVs for sale any where, and they continually get high ratings in both safety and customer satisfaction. It was a long road for Nissan from the days when they longed to be thought of as more than the maker of economy cars to the owner of one of the more respected names in the high end car market. All the planning, work, and marketing does appear to have paid off though.

Infiniti Car

Although the Infiniti name first made an appearance in North America in 1989, it had been in the planning stages for almost ten years. Nissan had long been one of the more well thought of producers of economy cars and trucks, but from a business perspective had long wanted to push past that image and compete in the luxury automobile market too. Nissan wasn’t alone in this desire, as in the late 1980s Toyota would develop their Lexus brand and Honda would develop their Acura brand. Initially, the new luxury car maker was not accepted well in the United States. This was chalked up to a number of reasons, but there was major talk that the advertising strategy of marketing the feeling that the car would bring to the driver and not showing the actual car in any of the advertisements worked against the car maker. The brand soon saw its reputation grow due to the public’s acceptance of many of the features developed in the new models, highlighted by the 278hp V8 engine that allowed Infiniti to compete head-to-head with many of the popular German luxury cars.

In the mid 1990s, Infiniti became the first car maker to offer a mid-sized luxury SUV when it released the 1997 QX4. This vehicle was ahead of its time and saw many followers in the luxury SUV market including the Lexus RX300, Mercedes-Benz ML320, and the Acura MDX. One feature that made the QX4 stand out against the competition was that although it was a luxury SUV, it was still based on a truck platform meaning that it was functional for off road driving. By the end of the 1990s though, Nissan went so far as to contemplate ending the production of all Infiniti models. This was mainly due to the fact that Infiniti was lagging behind both Acura and Lexus in yearly sales.

The model that turned things around for Infiniti was the G35 that was released in 2003. The G35 was instantly popular with luxury car enthusiasts every where and Infiniti immediately vaulted into the upper level of luxury car manufacturers. The 2003 G35 was voted Motor Trend Car of the Year which only improved Infiniti’s newfound perception in the eyes of the car buying public. Infiniti capitalized on this new level of popularity by following up on the release of the G35 with the release of the FX35/45 crossover which was also wildly popular. This sudden and somewhat unexpected turn for the better taken by Infiniti allowed it to take more risks and it has since steadily moved away from many similarities that its luxury models had with parent company Nissan’s base models.

Infiniti now thinks of itself in direct competition with companies like Mercedes-Benz and BMW and no longer pushes its association with standard Japanese auto makers. The leadership of Infiniti has done a wonderful job of focusing on the wants and desires of the customes that make up the market that they are pursuing. Infiniti’s moves of late in the luxury car marketplace have shown that they are not only on the mark in terms of what it takes to be successful in today’s market, but also have a well placed eye on the future of the luxury car market as well.

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