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Q-uintessentially Infiniti

Dec. 18 – Yokohama – Infiniti announced a new vehicle naming strategy Tuesday, to be applied to its complete product range beginning with the 2014 model year.

The first model to carry Infiniti’s new Q badge will be the Q50, an all-new premium sports sedan to be unveiled at the North American International Auto Show in January 2013. Infiniti President Johan de Nysschen spoke  about the new nomenclature with the Global Media Center’s Coco Masters.

Media Center: Infiniti made a major announcement today. Can you tell us the details?

Johan de Nysschen, Infiniti President:

Infiniti President Johan de Nysschen

Infiniti is at an important inflection point for the brand. We announced today that we are changing our nomenclature philosophy from the current practice which uses alpha-numeric symbols to identify the various models in our lineup to a much more simple-to-follow approach where we will go back to our roots.

Our sedans, coupes and convertibles, will be identified by the letter ‘Q’ and a double digit while our crossovers and SUVs, will be identified by the letters ‘QX’ and a double digit.

 

MC: Why ‘Q’ and what do you expect this will do for Infiniti?

De Nysschen:

The original Infiniti, when it was first launched as the iconic ‘Q45’, already set the brand on a course with a reputation for meticulous attention to detail, and we would like to capture that spirit again as we are now at this important new chapter in the history of the brand.

Infiniti is really set now on expanding its global footprint and part of doing that also means the expansion of our product portfolio. We will be taking the brand considerably more upmarket with more aspirational models, more performance models. At the same time, we also have to recognize demographic trends with the emergence of ‘Generation X’ and ‘Generation Y’ as very important consumers in the premium category. They, too, have a desire for fascinating models at the compact premium end of the model range.

Infiniti booth at the 2012 Beijing Motor Show

This expansion of our product portfolio, both upwards and into market segments below where we are positioned today means that we have to find a way to differentiate the vertical hierarchy of models but also – quite pragmatically – we ran out of alpha-numeric symbols in our current or previous philosophy.

So the combination of all of those considerations brought us to the realization we need to find something new and what we have ended up with now, has got a good precedence in our history with ‘Q’ being an important part of the very origins of our brand and the clear separation of ‘Q’ double-digit for the cars, ‘QX’ double-digit for the SUVs and crossovers and the size of the digit will increase as you go further up the price band, so a clear vertical hierarchy for the models as well.

MC: In Detroit, the first ‘Q’ model will be unveiled. What does this naming strategy signify about where you are going to take Infiniti?

De Nysschen:

The Infiniti brand in the future is going to capitalize on the very strong foundation that we have already built. A reputation for exciting cars, performance cars, and drivers’ cars will remain very much part of the brand DNA, but we are going to take it to places where it has never been.

Infiniti at the Moscow Motor Show

With ever more sophisticated technology, far more refinement and luxury, authenticity of materials, absolute meticulous detail of fit and finish and precision, we’ll expand the range into price points and market segments where we have never been before.

The brand, therefore, is going to expand quite significantly in terms of its stature, and the broadness of its appeal within the premium sector.

The first model to reflect this new nomenclature philosophy will be the all-new premium compact sports sedan, the Infiniti Q50, and it is significant because it really heralds the start of what will be a very substantial product offensive, which will be at the very core of this repositioning of the Infiniti brand into the future.

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