Infiniti, at long last, seems to be on a roll in the U.S. market. For 2016, it sold 138,293 vehicles, which is an increase of four percent over 2015.
So to help keep the momentum going, it is launching at the Chicago Auto Show two 2017 “Signature Editions,” one for it Q50 3.0t sport sedan and the other for its full-size QX 5.6 SUV.
In both cases, it is about adding some special content, like, for the Q50, a power-sliding glass moonroof, navigation, and LED lights fore and aft.
For the OX80 Signature Edition there are things like exterior touches like chrome outside rearview mirror caps and dark-finish 22-inch forged aluminum alloy wheels, and inside touches like a leather Saddle Tan trimmed surfaces. And there is a lengthy list of driver assistance tech, including: Backup Collision Intervention (BCI), Blind Spot Warning (BSW), Intelligent Cruise Control (Full-Speed Range), Distance Control Assist (DCA), Forward Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection, Predictive Forward Collision Warning (PFCW), Blind Spot Intervention (BSI), Land Departure Warning (LPW) and Lane Departure Prevention (LDP).
While it is certainly the case that sedans are having a tough time of it in the market so providing some additional features and functions is a good thing—although it should be noted that Q50 sales actually were up last year, albeit only by 0.3 percent—when it comes to SUVs, be they large, medium or small, they are figuratively flying off the showroom floors: the QX80 sales were up 7.2 percent last year, and realize that it has a starting MSRP of $63,850, so that’s a non-trivial purchase.
Outside of a pickup truck, there is no vehicle that’s sold in greater units than the Toyota RAV4. So when they developed the new generation, they had a whole lot to consider.
If heritage means anything in this industry, then it is surprising that Buick doesn’t make more of its history because the story of the early years of the company is nothing short of astonishing.
For conducting business in the U.S. market, Toyota has historically had several separate business entities: a sales and distribution company headquartered in California (Toyota Motor Sales, USA); manufacturing operations (Toyota Motor Manufacturing North America); a racing subsidiary (Toyota Racing Development, USA); the Toyota Technical Center for R&D in Ann Arbor; and a design facility in California (Calty Design Research, Inc.). On April 1, 2006, Toyota merged its R&D operations and its manufacturing operations into a single company.