As we celebrate the holidays, we look back at 10 significant moments from INFINITINews 2017
INFINITI sales are at record levels. Our vehicles have been recognized with awards, and our partnerships and events have been fantastic. INFINITI is on a roll, backed by a fleet of world-class cars, SUVs and crossovers that boast sophisticated style, loads of character and upcoming world-first technologies. Because the past year has been such a whirlwind—and the holidays are the ideal time to pause and reflect on the year gone by—we present 10 significant posts from INFINITINews 2017, to remind you of where we’ve been. And where we’re going. Happy holidays!
1) December 14, 2017:
VC-Turbo – the world's first production-ready variable compression ratio engine
INFINITI's VC-Turbo engine is the world's first production-ready variable compression ratio engine – and it makes its production debut on the new QX50. This unique variable compression technology represents a breakthrough in combustion engine design – the QX50's 2.0-liter VC-Turbo continually transforms, adjusting its compression ratio to optimize power and fuel efficiency. It combines the power of a 2.0-liter turbocharged gasoline engine with the torque and efficiency of an advanced four-cylinder diesel engine.
2)December 14, 2017:
INFINITI 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 makes Ward’s 10 Best Engines list for second consecutive year
The INFINITI 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 engine was named to Ward's 10 Best Engines list for 2018 model year. The VR-series engine has the distinction of being one of just two engines on the list to receive the award for a second consecutive year.
Available across the range of newly redesigned INFINITI Q50 sports sedan models, along with the Q60 sports coupe, the advanced VR-series engine was tested by the WardsAuto editors as offered in the INFINITI Q50 3.0t SPORT, Q50 RED SPORT 400 and Q60 RED SPORT 400. Available in two configurations, the 3.0-liter VR-series engine is capable of producing 300 horsepower with 295 lb-ft of torque; in a high-performance option, this engine delivers 400 horsepower and 350 lb-ft of torque.
3)November 28, 2017:
INFINITI reveals all-new 2019 QX50 in Los Angeles
INFINITI revealed the all-new 2019 QX50 – a luxury mid-size crossover with world-first technologies, standout design and unrivaled interior space, all on an entirely new platform – ahead of the Los Angeles Auto Show.
"The 2019 QX50 is the most important vehicle we have ever launched, and it embodies everything the brand stands for: Beautiful design, advanced technology and empowering performance. As a luxury mid-size crossover, it's the right vehicle at the right time in one of the world's fastest growing segments."
Christian Meunier, INFINITI Global Division Vice President
4) November 14, 2017:
2018 INFINITI QX80: A distinctive, powerful full-size SUV to travel everywhere in luxury
INFINITI revealed the new QX80 at the 2017 Dubai International Motor Show. Further advancing INFINITI's presence in the full-size luxury SUV segment, the 2018 QX80 takes INFINITI's "Powerful Elegance" design language in a bold new direction, creating a powerful, contemporary and commanding aesthetic.
The 2018 QX80 stands apart with a refined and spacious cabin that features high-quality materials, a hand-crafted finish, and advanced drive-assist technologies – all combining to promote a sense of inclusive, modern luxury and set new standards for upscale sophistication.
Production of the new QX80 is underway at INFINITI's Kyushu production facility in Japan.
5) October 16, 2017:
INFINITI Motor Company names Christian Meunier Global Division Vice President, Global Marketing and Sales Operations
Christian Meunier, former Senior Vice President, Sales & Marketing and Operations, Nissan North America, and Chairman, Nissan Canada, Inc., was appointed to the new position of Global Division Vice President, Global Marketing and Sales Operations, INFINITI Motor Company.
In this new role, Meunier is responsible for all marketing and sales operations for INFINITI globally. Meunier reports directly to Roland Krueger, Chairman and Global President of INFINITI, and Senior Vice President of Nissan Motor Corporation. Meunier is based in Franklin, Tenn., and will spend time in INFINITI's global headquarters in Hong Kong to manage and guide the global sales and marketing operations.
"Christian brings a wealth of global experience and knows the premium automotive sector very well," said Krueger.
6) August 18, 2017:
INFINITI reveals ‘Prototype 9’ at 2017 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance
Nissan Motor Corporation and INFINITI unveiled a sleek, open-wheeled electric retro roadster prototype at the 2017 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. The car, called Prototype 9, is a celebration of Nissan Motor and INFINITI's ingenuity, artistry and craftsmanship. It represents a reimagining of a 1940s racecar with time-honored production techniques employed to realize its retro design.
"Prototype 9 celebrates the tradition of ingenuity, craftsmanship and passion of our forebears at Nissan Motor Corporation, on whose shoulders we stand today. It started as a discussion: What if INFINITI had created a race car in the 1940s? If one were to imagine an open-wheeled INFINITI racer on the famous circuits of the era, such as Japan's Tamagawa Speedway, what would that look like? The sketches were stunning and the idea so compelling that we had to produce a prototype. As other departments became aware of this, they volunteered their time to create a working vehicle."
Alfonso Albaisa, Senior Vice President, Global Design
7) August 1, 2017:
INFINITI donates more than $1 million to charity
This year, INFINITI donated more than $1 million to a variety of coaches' charities as part of the brand's ongoing corporate partnership with the NCAA® and the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC). Phil O'Connor, director Marketing Communications and Media, presented the checks to the winners at INFINITI Americas Headquarters in Tennessee.
"We are pleased to have INFINITI as a partner in support of NCAA student athletes and higher education values," said Dan Gavitt, NCAA senior vice president for basketball. "Having a strong brand such as INFINITI as a part of our NCAA Corporate Marketing Program indicates that the company believes in student-athlete success, both academically and athletically."
INFINITI donated $724,785 to Coaches vs. Cancer, a nationwide collaboration between the American Cancer Society (ACS) and the NABC. INFINITI also donated another $349,000 to various philanthropic organizations that were individually selected by the other NCAA Division I basketball coaches in the INFINITI Coaches' Charity Challenge.
8) June 28, 2017:
INFINITI and Stephen Curry announce global partnership
INFINITI Motor Co. today announced a global partnership with NBA basketball star Stephen Curry to be its new global brand ambassador.
Stephen Curry is one of the greatest shooters in basketball history, helping lead the Golden State Warriors to an NBA Championship earlier this month. His outstanding achievements and personal ambition to be at the top of his profession embody the spirit of INFINITI's new brand positioning "Empower the Drive." The premium automotive manufacturer will feature Curry in upcoming global product and brand marketing communications campaigns.
"Stephen Curry's drive to continue to set new benchmarks both on and off the court is an ideal parallel to the attributes of the INFINITI brand. Just like INFINITI, he never stops pushing himself. We see the same dedication every day from our team who works tirelessly to exceed the expectations of our customers around the world. This partnership celebrates a shared drive to continue to change the game," said Roland Krueger, Chairman and Global President, INFINITI Motor Company.
9) March 14, 2017:
Karim Habib takes over INFINITI Design
Karim Habib, former Head of BMW Design, was named Head of INFINITI Design, effective July 1, 2017. Habib has an accomplished track record in Automotive Design for several premium automotive brands, including BMW and Daimler AG. He is based in the company's technical center in Atsugi, Japan, and he leads the global INFINITI design teams in Japan; Beijing, China; San Diego, USA and London, England. He reports to Alfonso Albaisa, Senior Vice President Global Design for Nissan Motor Corporation.
"We are happy to have Karim join us and head our global INFINITI design teams. During his career as a designer and a leader of global teams he always created modern and inspiring designs," said Albaisa.
10) January 4, 2017:
INFINITI reports all-time record sales in the U.S.
INFINITI in January reported sales of 18,198 vehicles in the U.S. during December, an increase of 21 percent, making this its all-time greatest sales month. For the year, INFINITI also reached a record level with 138,293 vehicles sold, an increase of four percent over 2015.
Sales of the QX50 luxury crossover increased 39 percent with 2,026 vehicles delivered – its best sales month in its history and an increase of 210 percent for the year. Sales of the QX70 performance crossover increased 56 percent to 1,086. Both the INFINITI QX60 and QX80 had their best ever year. Overall, INFINITI crossovers and sport-utility vehicle sales increased 16 percent for the month.
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