Infiniti plans a shift in marketing for its Anniversary Models

Infiniti has announced that they will launch a portfolio of anniversary-edition models in 2019 to mark the brand’s 30 years in business. Infiniti Americas Vice President Mike Colleran devoted a large part of his NADA session to reassure dealers that new vehicles are on the way, said Mario Murgado, CEO of Brickell Motors in Miami and chairman of the Infiniti National Dealer Advisory Board. “We have the oldest portfolio of products in the business, and Infiniti is working hard to renew that portfolio, and to be transparent with its retailers to tell us that they are fixing it,” Murgado said. While not offering details such as when the models will appear, Colleran told dealers the anniversary plan will include multiple nameplates. He said Infiniti will reveal details in a series of start-up meetings commencing this month around the country.

In an interview, Colleran said Infiniti wanted to specify dealers with new offerings as they await the brand’s next great product modification. According to retailers who attended this meeting, that will be a remodeled QX60 crossover, due next year. Infiniti also expressed to dealers that specific electric vehicle plans are in the works, following its proclamation a year ago of an electrification strategy set to begin after 2021. In its 2018 announcement, Infiniti said every new vehicle introduced after 2021 will be a full EV or have an electrified powertrain — except for Infiniti’s full-size SUV, the QX80.

The electrification approach will begin revealing itself “very soon in automotive years,” Colleran said after the meeting. “We have changes going on and we want to make sure we have open communications with our dealers to keep them involved.” Phil O’Connor, Infiniti director of marketing communications and media, told vendors the company plans a new marketing tactic this year, aiming for likely buyers instead of relying on broad market campaigns. “It’s about reaching to a specific household that is currently in-market, as opposed to covering an entire city, including consumers who are not planning to buy a new vehicle,” O’Connor said after the meeting. “We now have the tools to know who is likely to be ready to buy a vehicle, and who is likely to buy a premium vehicle.” O’Connor told the suppliers the new tactic will not replace Infiniti’s national advertising, which traditionally becomes more visible during the college basketball season, leading up to the March Madness national college basketball tournament. He said Infiniti’s new advertising tactic came about at vendors’ request.