Automotive News Europe reports in an article “Infiniti gets a take-charge ex-Audi guy with credentials, clout” that Infiniti now has its first-ever president and that he was formerly president of Audi of America. This is significant news for Infiniti and sets a much more aggressive direction for the future of the division.
And there are implications here: Audi has spent the past decade building ever-mo9re sleek and sophisticated products, while Infiniti has been inconsistent: playing with massive SUVs (reworked Nissans), leaving its mainstream product (Infiniti G) to age and become less competitive, and searching for a halo product (Essence, Emerg-E) but never making a decision. All leaving Infiniti with a hodgepodge of products attempting to satisfy a broad market, while losing focus on the original goal of sleek, powerful, and luxurious products.
Meanwhile Infiniti has defined a new styling language, as seen in the “Le-Electric” concept (electric sedan). Note the broken line in the side windows (very clumsy in the new JX – it suggests a reluctance to move forward), the huge grill (blocked off in this electric concept, but also recently seen in the M, JX, and the ridiculous QX), and gigantic character lines down the sides and wrapped around the front and rear.
We can’t even begin to say how ugly and clumsy this concept is compared to sleek Infinitis of the past.
Now look at Audi: the mainstream A4 has been consistent from the start, and variations such as the S4, A5, and S5 have just added to the appeal. Secondary products like the new A7 are not mainstream, but add to the overall appeal of the brand and stay consistent with the formula. SUVs add to profitability, and while they started out with somewhat different styling and less appeal, they are rapidly moving to the same formula.
Obvious conclusion: Audi is winning, and Infiniti has fallen well behind.
Message to de Nysschen: fix this problem. Start with the G. It’s no secret that a new G is coming shortly… and we hope the styling is not locked into any relationship whatsoever with the Le Electric concept. And just as Audi competes with the BMW 3 series with it’s own unique interpretation of that market, do the same with the upcoming G. Move quickly, time is running out.