[Updated] Q Car: Infiniti Announces New Naming Strategy, Q for Cars, QX for Crossovers and SUVs

By Trevor Dorchies | December 19, 2012
In the first major step of revamping itself, Infiniti announced that it will be rebadging its sedans starting with the letter "Q," and its SUVS and crossovers starting with the letters "QX," beginning with 2014 model year vehicles.  Infiniti has made no secret that it plans on overhauling its image to compete in the luxury vehicle segment and this announcement is evidence of that. "Over the past few months, we have talked at length with our retailers, our customers, and our business partners about our brand. The need for a new identity and direction to promote consumer familiarity with our model range as we expand the portfolio became evident," said Johan de Nysschen, President of Infiniti. "To achieve this, we clearly needed a simple and consistent nomenclature framework." As a result, beginning with the 2014 model year lineup, Infiniti will change its nomenclature. Everything you know about Infiniti will change as every model line, including the G lineup and the recently introduced JX crossover, will be rebadged. All Infiniti sedans, coupes, and convertibles will now begin with a "Q" while the SUV and crossover lineup will be start with "QX." Infiniti also announced that it will officially unveil the next-generation G37--to be called theQ50 under the new nomenclature--at the 2013 North American International Auto Show next month in Detroit.
So why switch the nomenclature now? The addition of Johan de Nysschen, President of Infiniti, has a lot, if not all to do with the shake-up. In a previous life, de Nysschen served as CEO of Audi America. During his days with Audi, de Nysschen renamed every sedan model offered by the German luxury automaker with an "A" followed by a number (A3, A4, etc.) and every SUV or crossover model with a "Q" (Q5, Q7, etc.). Audi has continually enjoyed sales success and has been able to separate itself from its more mainstream sibling, Volkswagen. It's unseen yet whether or not de Nysschen will be able to successfully implement this same plan with Infiniti. Even still, de Nysschen's plan promises to expand the brand's reputation in the Asian market and create more space between itself and its sibling brand, Nissan.
“Until now, we’ve really been a U.S.-centric brand, and the time has come to take our business to a more global vantage point," said de Nysschen in a recent conference call. “In the U.S., people clearly know the relative position of an Infiniti G versus an M, or an FX versus a JX, but this is not so much the case in Europe or Asia.” With the change in nomenclature, de Nysschen hopes that it will clear up any misunderstandings that the general public has about the Japanese automaker. For the foreseeable future, Infiniti's "new" lineup will consist of the "Q50" (or the artist formerly known as the G sedan) while the coupe and convertible variants will be known as the "Q60." The M lineup will now be called the "Q70" and, like other competing luxury automakers, will have a label for both two- and four-door models. As for the SUV and crossover lineup, Infiniti is now calling the EX the "QX50,"while the all-new JX, which was introduced earlier this year, will be known as the "QX60." The FX will now be called the "QX70"and the full-figured QX56 will now answer to "QX80." During a conference call with de Nysschen, he made it known that each model will no longer have the engine's displacement in its name as consumers don't want people knowing what's under the hood, apparently. However, a badge will be present on the fender of each "new" model denoting what engine displacement motivates the vehicle. Updated: Infiniti has issued a statement to its owners to better explain the nomenclature change. According de Nysschen, Infiniti thought long and hard about switching up its model's names but came to the conclusion that it was the next logical step in its pursuit to expand globally. With all of the new technology and drivetrains Infiniti promises in the future, the luxury automaker felt like it was the right thing to do. Also owning the rights to naming vehicles with a "Q" or a "QX" possibly made this decision easier, as well.  What say you? Should Infiniti have changed up its nomenclature or keep it the way it was? Vote in the poll below. [polldaddy poll=6780529]