Nissan Motor Company has gone out of its way lately to fix its ailing Infiniti luxury brand but nothing seems to be working, at least for now.
Earlier this year, Infiniti announced it would leave Western European markets in 2020 and the company effectively ended UK production of the Q30 and QX30 this summer. Another significant move was the relocation of the brand’s global headquarters from Hong Kong to Japan.
More recently, Infiniti’s global head of design, Karim Habib, left the company and was replaced by Taisuke Nakamura. But none of these moves will help Nissan save Infiniti unless the luxury brand does well in its No. 1 market (and the market it was invented for): the United States. Unfortunately for the Japanese automaker, Infiniti sales are in free fall in America.
The company’s September sales report is disastrous and needs no commentary whatsoever. The brand sold only 7,031 vehicles last month, down 43.9 percent over the same month last year, when 12,536 units were delivered to U.S. customers.
For comparison, BMW and Mercedes-Benz each sold a little over 27,000 cars and SUVs in the U.S. last month, followed by Tesla with 23,025 units, Lexus with 18,860, Audi with 16,130, Cadillac with 12,093, and Acura with 11,098 units. The list of premium brands that outsold Infiniti in September also includes Lincoln (8,455 units) and Land Rover (7,488 units).
If you thought Infiniti’s sales results were probably an anomaly related to the month of September, think again. In the first nine months of 2019, Infiniti sold 87,934 cars and SUVs in the United States, compared to 105,249 units in the same period in 2018. That accounts for a 16.5 percent drop and, by the looks of it, the percentage could grow further for the entire calendar year.
A look at Infiniti’s lineup reveals that all of its models lost massive sales in September compared to the same month last year, “led” by the QX30 crossover with a massive 83.2 percent drop to only 94 units. The aging Q70 lost 60.2 percent of sales to 149 units, and the Q60 was close with a 59.8 percent drop to 336 units. Surprisingly, the QX50 SUV also saw a decrease of 51.1 percent to 1,352 units, followed by the massive QX80 with a 50.4 percent drop to 1,034 units.