Infiniti is the luxury division of Nissan, and markets a range of luxurious and sporty sedans, coupes, crossover vehicles, and sport utility vehicles throughout America. Infiniti's used car lineup includes the Infiniti G Coupe, Infiniti G Sedan, Infiniti M Sedan, Infiniti FX crossover (counterpart to the Nissan Murano), and the Infiniti QX sport utility vehicle, which is closely related to the Nissan Armada large SUV.
In the mid- to late-1980's, Toyota, Nissan, and Honda would all introduce upscale brands in what would herald a successful attempt at moving in on territory dominated by American and European automakers such as Cadillac Lincoln, Jaguar, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz. Nissan was the last of the Japanese trio to move into the US with a captive luxury brand and has lagged behind both Lexus and Acura during its tenure on these shores.
Established in 1989 with 1990 model year vehicles and 51 dealers, Nissan's Infiniti brand would start off slowly due to questionable advertising decisions that allowed marketing to be aired without showing the vehicles. The Zen-like ads did little to entice consumers to visiting Infiniti showrooms. A year later, Infiniti managed to refine its advertising message and overcame the initial problems with its launch. Ever since, strong models such as the highly-acclaimed Q45 and robust advertising and marketing support have helped Infiniti grow sales.
The late 1990's saw the addition of the QX4 sport utility vehicle, right around the same time other luxury brands were releasing their luxury SUV offerings. It was also during this time that Nissan's financial trouble kept Infiniti from gaining ground on Lexus and Acura. Automakers were enjoying brisk sales of luxury sport utility vehicles during this time, and these largely truck-based vehicles proved to be the right product at the right time. Infiniti was not able to cash in on this trend as readily as its competition, due to the financial troubles previously mentioned.
Recent Infiniti Models
The most recent vehicles to breath new life into Infiniti came in 2003 with the near-luxury G35 and the FX35/FX45 crossover vehicles. The G35 is known as the Nissan Skyline 350GT in Japan, and is one of Nissan's most acclaimed products on those shores. The FX series vehicles are based on the Nissan Murano. The FX/Murano crossovers are based on the chassis used by the Maxima and Altima sedans earlier than 2007. The Nissan Altima went to the new Nissan D platform in 2007. Now Infiniti has moved to a naming convention where the vehicles start with the letter G.