Infiniti
caused quite a stir this week when it announced that it would be changing its vehicle names so that all of its cars start with Q and all of its crossovers and SUVs start with QX. Many displeased fans and owners took to social media to voice their opinions, and Johan de Nysschen, the new Infiniti boss, responded today with a Facebook post of his own.

In the note, de Nysschen talks about the challenge of product expansions with alphanumeric names that allow for flexibility without encroaching on the trademarked names of other automakers, although we're sure de Nysschen's former colleagues at Audi aren't looking forward to a Q30 or Q50. He also says that as Infiniti grows to become a global brand, the new naming structure – which closely mimics Volvo – is also designed to reduce confusion (just don't tell that to current owners). One thing that de Nysschen assured wouldn't happen is a confusing "X" added to the end of all-wheel-drive model names that would result in names like the Q60X or, even worse, the QX50X.

While we are not looking forward to relearning Infiniti's product lineup, de Nysschen has given us something to look forward to courtesy of a new performance sedan. From the brief explanation of this car, which was used as a key example in explaining the validity of the new names, we learned that the new model will be a performance version of what is now the M sedan, and it will be powered by a "charged induction" 3.0-liter V6 producing more than 550 horsepower. The M's name will become the Q70, but as of right now, it isn't clear if this will be an IPL model or something else.

Scroll down to read de Nysschen's response.
Show full PR text
Dear Infiniti Fans,

We love you dearly. And we know you love the brand. Which means it's only natural that you may feel surprised by the announcement that we plan to change our nomenclature philosophy. No one likes change.

It was a tough decision, we like our current model names as much as you do. But we had no choice but to change. Let me explain.

1. We are embarking on a massive product offensive, and these new cars need names. There are no suitable combinations of Alphanumeric naming options remaining which are not already trademarked by another automaker. In order to expand our line up with the fascinating new models we are developing, we must create a more flexible nomenclature philosophy.

2. Our new advanced technology engines under development will be smaller, lighter, more fuel efficient yet more powerful. And we will introduce some exhilarating performance machines in the future. I'm sure you will agree, it would be a bit odd to have a powerful, luxurious and refined V8 powered Infiniti M56, then position a new high-tech 550+ horsepower performance flagship for the Infiniti M range above it, using a potent charged induction V6, but then call it Infiniti M30, which we would be obliged to do, following our current naming logic.

3. Infiniti is becoming a global brand now, we are already active in almost 50 countries, the majority only very recently. Our new customers are unfamiliar with the brand and struggle to understand our range hierarchy. Is a JX above or below an FX? Where does an EX fit? What is the relationship between G and Infiniti M? Research confirms the majority of newcomers to our brand consider the naming to be somewhat arbitrary and confusing.

4. Infiniti owns the naming assets of Q plus double digit, and QX plus double digit. And it is a permanent part of our heritage.

So the solution is pretty straightforward - use Q for cars, QX for crossovers, and double digits in increments of ten, to denote hierarchy, linked to the price point of the model, not size and not engine displacement. And no, we won't call all-wheel drive models Q50X or QX50X. The fact that a model may feature four wheel drive, will be indicated by specific badging describing this feature on the car, and is not part of the model name.

The really exciting implication of all this, is that it prepares the way for the introduction of several fascinating new models, above and below the current line up, a wider range of powertrains, including some truly stunning performance cars in our future.

So there is only good news for all Infiniti fans around the globe. We are working very hard to bring you great products, a great brand and a compelling ownership experience. And we are really confident you will love the new Q50. It's simply that good.

Warmest regards

Johan de Nysschen
President

Infiniti Motor Company Limited


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 79 Comments
      mustang_sallad
      • 2 Years Ago
      This is the same guy who said EVs are for idiots just before his company (Audi at the time) started showing off their own EV. How did this guy work his way to the top?
      Carpinions
      • 2 Years Ago
      Man this is a dumb idea. Someone who buys a "QX50" will always feel like they have the lesser car. And I like how, on the "QX" side, the number divisions are by vehicle size/market, but on the "Q" side, the G sedan is the Q50, but the G coupe is the Q60. Perhaps calling the coupe the Q60-2 or Q60c would have been a bad idea as well, but it just illustrates how bad an idea it is to totally change Infiniti's model naming scheme at this stage in the game, 24 years after a scheme that has been working has been in place. I don't frankly know why the alpha/alphanumeric system has become so "necessary" for luxury cars. The only high-end makers that use names almost strictly make sports cars; Ferrari uses names and alphanumerics, Porsche uses mostly names, Lambo uses names. The idea that alphanumerics implies luxury would then be incorrect because the panache a car receives depends on the kinds of product it is and how it performs ultimately. The Acura Legend doesn't become a lesser car historically because it was called a name. The Corvette's storied history isn't sullied because it wasn't called the CV350. Pretty soon someone's going to break this alphanumeric mold and have just as much success as everyone else.
      RA
      • 2 Years Ago
      their current system was fine as is.. just needed a little streamline work. NOW, i will be confused for sure
      Andre Neves
      • 2 Years Ago
      Remember when cars actually had names?
      brgtlm
      • 2 Years Ago
      Moronic move - they are going run into the same problem as Lincoln with everything starting with M and nobody remembering which name goes with each vehicle!
      Henry
      • 2 Years Ago
      You know have a problem when you have to explain and explain. With htis new normentclature, there is no differentiation other than the numbers. What they currently have in place perfectly differentiate their vehicles because the first letter tells you what range the car is. "Q" everything muddies the water for a lot of people, myself included. Ask Lincoln. I cannot for the life of me think of why they want to throw away the brand recognition they spent so much time and money to create. Somebody really lost their mind over there. As an Infiniti owner and entusiast, this is not good news at all. The created goodwill is about to go out the window. For what? They need to spend their time and money to build cars that can compete with the big boys. Nobody is confusing the Mercedes "E" class with the "S" class. Heck, the clear differentiation of Infiniti vehicles convinced Merecedes to make the letters prominent, changing from 500SE or 500 SEL to S500 and the 300E to E320 with the 1994 model year. Or have they forgoten?
      KAG
      • 2 Years Ago
      I can understand the Q for the Sedans, but not for SUV's. Can't wait to see the 550 HP car, and isn't that the same power rating as the GT-R?
        Carpinions
        • 2 Years Ago
        @KAG
        It's a touch higher than the GT-R but the engine displacement is .8 smaller. If they use the VR38 to develop a "charged induction" "VR30" with that much power, that would be interesting. I just want to know what "charged induction" means, though I can only think that screams "hybrid" at the moment.
      Jonathan
      • 2 Years Ago
      It started with Acura re-naming the Legend as the TL and the Integra as the RSX. More recently, the new M3 will now be the M4. Now Infiniti is renaming their whole lineup with Q's. This is getting a little ludicrous.
        audisp0rta4
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Jonathan
        I see what you mean about these renames becoming confusing. Because the Legend was actually renamed the RL...unless I'm the one that's confused?!
          Jonathan
          • 2 Years Ago
          @audisp0rta4
          You're right. The Legend became the RL and the Vigor became the TL. I guess I confused the TL with the RL since the TL has now basically rendered the RL useless. =)
          graphikzking
          • 2 Years Ago
          @audisp0rta4
          Remember when the CL had the CL S (Now Mercedes has the CLS :) ) That CL-Type S was a nice ride. 260hp back then was really nice! What has Honda done the last 12 years? Wait - went from a 3.0 allll the way up to a 3.7 liter and barely got anything extra from it!
          muspod
          • 2 Years Ago
          @audisp0rta4
          And they have never been the same since.. Maybe Infiniti could learn from Acura's demise..
        bwaugh06
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Jonathan
        Read my above replies. It's about Brand Recognition.
      Avinash Machado
      • 2 Years Ago
      Time for real names from Infiniti,Acura and Lincoln.
      jason32379
      • 2 Years Ago
      I have to give Infiniti props for trying to be different. But this seems an awful lot like what BMW did when they butchered their model numbers and went from a decades-long and well-established scheme that was recognized the world over to a new scheme. Now if BMW would just go back to properly matching model numbers with engine sizes and types (the current 328i should be 320t)... At least Infiniti gets this part right.
      turboawdftw
      • 2 Years Ago
      i still dont understand the naming... So presumably, the Q70 has multiple engine options... how will that naming work out?? Will they call it the Q70 w/ the V8 a Q70 5.6? and the Q70 3.0? i guess it's the same type of naming structure like audi has.... with the engine size as part of the model name following the car name as a suffix.
      graphikzking
      • 2 Years Ago
      Here is what I think is funny. 10 years ago cars had names and cell phones had model numbers. VX6000 etc. Now cars have model numbers and phones all have names. Marketing people I think just like to think of ideas just for the sake of saying they have an idea. Back on topic - 3.0 liter charged engine with 550hp? That sounds VERY nice. Especially considering they are "only" getting 545 from the 3.8 liter they are utilizing now.
        bwaugh06
        • 2 Years Ago
        @graphikzking
        Read my above reply. It's all about brand recognition. These people aren't idiots, they are highly paid brand marketing execs from fancy schools and many years in the business. It's the psychology behind naming a model. You don't want people to identify with the model. They want them to identify with the brand. Which is why they give them forgetable numbers.
          Henry
          • 2 Years Ago
          @bwaugh06
          So was Ewanick and where is he today?
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