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Infiniti: M is better letter than Q for U.S.

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Infiniti: M is better letter than Q for U.S.

Automotive News -- March 15, 2010 - 12:01 am ET

As for you Infiniti dealers who are eager for a flagship sedan to replace the Q45, which was pulled from the lineup in 2006 -- well, don't hold your breath.

Nissan officials have made noises about a new full-sized flagship to compete against the Lexus LS 460, BMW 7 series and Mercedes-Benz S class. Toru Saito, vice president of the global Infiniti business unit, said several regional markets have requested a return of the big sedan. But he points out that the Q45 never sold well in the United States, which is its most natural market.

What's more, the redesigned M sedan, arriving this month, approaches the old Q45 in size.

The M will "play a flagship role" to test how strong the brand is, Saito said at the Geneva auto show this month. Should there be demand for a fully loaded M sedan, then maybe a new Q would be developed.

"I would like an iconic product," Saito said, "but the No. 1 challenge is the environment and efficiency."

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