Sales of Nissan’s luxury brand Infiniti spiked nearly 20 percent in February after a sluggish 2014. The company believes customers were slow to embrace a recent name change for Infiniti cars and SUVs.
There are only two options now: Q for cars and QX for SUVs. Infiniti pulled the trigger on streamlining the model names last year. Spokesman Kyle Bazemore says it was part of the reason sales were flat.
“There was a little bit of confusion in the marketplace,” he says. “But we’ve gotten through that now for the 2014 model year, and it’s being very well received by our customers and our retailers.”
For instance, sales of the M-series sedan — now called the Q70 — jumped more than 50 percent in February. And the Smyrna-built QX60 was up 10 percent over the same period in the prior year.
Bazemore says lower gas prices have helped boost sales of Infiniti SUVs, including the full-size QX80 which gets just 14 miles per gallon in town, 20 on the highway. The luxury brand has also introduced a two-tiered sport sedan strategy with a Q40 that starts at $34,000.
Infiniti represents only about 10 percent of Franklin-based Nissan North America’s overall sales. But until the last few months, the company has had few explanations for why Nissan sales were shattering records and Infiniti was just holding on. February set sales records for both Nissan and Infiniti.