Nissan left the automotive media scratching its collective head when it announced that its Infiniti luxury brand would be renaming all of its vehicles, with cars wearing the Q designation and CUVs/SUVs wearing the QX badge. So the G Sedan became the Q50, and the G Coupe became the Q60. The QX56, meanwhile, became the QX80, and the FX crossover became the QX70. It is still thoroughly confusing nearly a year later.

Not content to confuse its US customers alone, Nissan will be fiddling with the name of one of its most revered Japanese-market models - the Skyline. Rebadged for the US as the Q50, and before that as the G Sedan/Coupe, the new Skyline will wear an Infiniti badge. What makes this truly confusing, though, is that the car won't be called the Infiniti Skyline, despite its badging. It won't even be called the Nissan Skyline, anymore. It's now just the Skyline. Apparently, Nissan thinks it can capitalize on the Skyline's link to the Japanese royal family (the Skyline was originally a product of Prince Motors, which provided vehicles for the Emperor and his family), by ditching any brand names and referring to it as its own model, according to Automotive News.

Now, confusion aside, there are things about Infiniti badging in Japan that make sense. Badging all the Nissans that eventually become Infinitis as Infinitis in the first place goes a long way to make the brand seem separate and distinct from its parent company. Speaking to AN, Infiniti's executive vice president of global product planning, Andy Palmer, puts it this way, "We have to treat Infiniti, if you will, in the same [way] that Volkswagen treats Audi. It's not a Nissan-plus. Infiniti has to stand head-to-head with any of those German competitors."

Still, the downsides to setting up the Infiniti brand in Japan are quite large - building up a separate sales channel alone requires a huge investment, and the track record of Japanese-owned American luxury brands coming to Japan isn't great. See Lexus. Even if Infiniti does manage to penetrate the Japanese market, its contribution to its overall sales goals will be remarkably slim. Infiniti already tallies Skyline and Fuga sales into its global figures, and the luxury market in Japan is so small that the idea of setting up shop hardly seems cost effective.


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  • 40 Comments
      RGT881
      • 1 Year Ago
      For any brand, let alone a luxury brand, to engage in various brand/model renaming techniques purely for marketing reasons is stupid. Almost no other industry is so rife with these devaluing methods as automotive industry. I can almost accept VW selling budget cars under various names in China, but for mature markets it makes no sense. Hence why I believe Land Rover was massively in the wrong by calling Discovery as LR2 here. Same with Infiniti doing this crap with Skyline/Q50. I almost think it's thin lipped busybodies who are pulling these stunts.
      sckid213
      • 1 Year Ago
      Some comments here are saying "get over the name changes." But what's really unprecedented about what Infiniti is doing is that they are renaming the vehicles in the middle of their lifecyles, not waiting until refreshes. So the new JX crossover thing will only have been the JX for one model year; all subsequent JX's will now be known as QX-something even though it's the exact same vehicle. And the old-design G37 coupe will suddenly become the Q60 for a couple years at the end of its lifecycle. But the old G37 sedan hangs around and is still the G27. Now this Skyline schizophrenia in Japan, in the middle of trying to launch the brand there. SO BIZARRE.
      Cruising
      • 1 Year Ago
      Andy Palmer: "We have to treat Infiniti, if you will, in the same [way] that Volkswagen treats Audi. It's not a Nissan-plus. Infiniti has to stand head-to-head with any of those German competitors." I have to say Mr. Palmer, well said.
      Sanchez
      • 1 Year Ago
      I am confusing
      chanonissan
      • 1 Year Ago
      why autoblog is taking a stone and turn it in a mountain, car changing names is common in japan, toyota is a main culprit of this, eg the tercel is now called yaris, the starlet is known as vitz. It is not the first rename for nissan the bluebird was rename bluebird sylphy, now it is just nissan sylphy, the GTR was nissan skyline GTR, now it just a nissan GTR. Skyline is a will known name in japan, adding an infiniti badge will not affect it at all.
        • 1 Year Ago
        @chanonissan
        [blocked]
      Jake
      • 1 Year Ago
      Who the heck is running this company?
        Jake
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Jake
        Why can't it be called Skyline here instead of all the Q-nonsense. Skyline is a cool name.
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Jake
          [blocked]
          chanonissan
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Jake
          because skyline was a name associate with nissan, from ever since. toyota did the same thing too seperate the toyota from the lexus.
          Brandon
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Jake
          Chanonissan, I'm pretty sure the average American car shopper has no idea what a Nissan Skyline is, unless they watch a lot of fast and furious movies...
      vripper
      • 1 Year Ago
      Hey Autoblog, Infiniti renamed all of its vehicles in the US. Get over it. They aren't the first ones. It's just Q and QX, but if you're still thoroughly confused a year later, get a cheat sheet. The Skyline name is established and has presence in Japan. What's difficult to understand?
        Rochester
        • 1 Year Ago
        @vripper
        You might be more emotionally invested in this branding clusterfuk if you owned an INFINITI.
          vripper
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Rochester
          Yes, I can see why my comment looks like trolling. Listen, little boy...I have always been a fan of Infiniti, so stop calling people names and control your tamper tantrum. The brand is INFINITI (which hasn't changed) and people are loyal to brands. The brand is not Q, G whatever. It's just a change of letters and numbers which manufacturers do all of the time. Did you pass out when BMW added new numbers for their coupes? BUT, reinventing your brand and lining up your model names to what you offer takes time. It will always ruffle a few feathers, but my guess is they have more people in mind other than you and me.
          Rochester
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Rochester
          No, I'm saying that brand loyalty will take a hit. Brand loyalty is all about customers identifying with a brand on a personal level, and INFINITI is messing with that. Relax? LOL at your trolling nonsense. You're a troll. Troll.
          vripper
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Rochester
          You're telling me a g35, g37 owner is really losing sleep over this? If you're going to get that emotionally attached, the name change isn't what you should be worried about. What are the owners going to do about name/number changes? Does the value decrease? The g37 is just running its course...relax a bit.
        • 1 Year Ago
        @vripper
        [blocked]
      Cruising
      • 1 Year Ago
      Some cars are like that. Can I point out vehicle nameplates like Mustang or Viper. Skyline is like that to. I thought Dodge was silly to get rid of Viper but the new one is still a Viper, looks and does Viper things just not with Dodge. I'm sure there will be initial shock but all that passes on.
      GOSCH
      • 1 Year Ago
      So there`s no more Nissan Skyline name?
      Jesus!
      • 1 Year Ago
      The front of this car looks like it's high haha
      zizixx89
      • 1 Year Ago
      Ok enough about the new naming scheme who ever cant comprehend personal problem. Dont like it?? Personal problem can i here something about the 530hp Q60 IPL and 550hp Q70 IPL , Q80 and Q90
      Bryant Pitcher
      • 1 Year Ago
      Agreed Alex Ellsworth. This is a horribly written blog. And, did you really just link to a Lexus post from 2008? I think we're a bit removed from that time.
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