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Loss of GT-R sports car to Nissan angers Infiniti

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Not Happy

Loss of GT-R sports car to Nissan angers Infiniti dealers

By KATHY JACKSON | AUTOMOTIVE NEWS

AutoWeek | Published 04/17/06, 10:36 am et

NEW YORK -- Infiniti dealers were incensed last week by Nissan Motor Co.'s decision to sell the high-performance GT-R sports car under the Nissan brand.

Infiniti lacks a sports car, and dealers desperately wanted the GT-R as a halo for the brand. It goes on sale in the United States in spring 2008.

Carlos Ghosn, CEO of Nissan Motor, said this week at the New York auto show that every country except the United States wanted the redesigned model to be a Nissan. The U.S. unit could not prove that branding the car an Infiniti would generate more sales or profits, he said.

"I was very neutral" about the matter, Ghosn said.

The decision bothers dealer Ed Lennon, chairman of Infiniti's National Dealer Advisory Board. Lennon, owner of Circle Infiniti in West Long Branch, N.J., says the company never promised the vehicle to Infiniti. But he says the U.S. executive team favored the vehicle's becoming an Infiniti in this country.

"We thought that Ghosn would abide by the regional needs, but that didn't happen," Lennon says. "Now they need to tell us where we're going. We're very disappointed. We truly counted on that vehicle to be a halo for us."

Infiniti sells four car and two SUV models in this country. Sales are down this year on every model except the M sedan. For the first three months of this year, overall sales were down 9.0 percent to 29,187 units.

In November, Infiniti dealers are expected to get a redesigned G35 sedan, the marque's sales leader. The FX crossover was freshened earlier this year, but dealers say the company is mum on any other future products.

"We're limited; we're not a complete Tier 1 brand," Lennon says.

Jack Collins, chief product planner for Nissan North America Inc., acknowledges that the Infiniti lineup is narrow.

"There is more room for us in the luxury crossover segment," he says. "We have no convertible for the G35. That is another obvious opportunity. Our biggest constraint is manpower. We have the capital but not the manpower" to develop new products quickly.

Ghosn says Infiniti has more product now than it ever has, adding, "We will be giving them more product in the future."

The GT-R concept was shown at the Tokyo Motor Show in October. The production model will be shown in Tokyo in 2007.

The GT-R is expected to sell for an estimated $65,000, with targeted sales of about 1,500 in this country. Sources say it could make more than 400 hp.

Link: http://www.autoweek.com/apps/pbcs.dll/arti...E/60417005/1041

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Apparently Infiniti dealers don't think the G35 Coupe is a sports car?

It isn't per se. The 350Z is a sports car. The G35 Coupe is more of a GT car.

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the NISSAN GT-R is legendary. To change the brand of that car to some pansy yuppie brand like INFINITI would be watering down the merit of the car.

just like CHEVROLET CORVETTE

Edited by regfootball

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Uhhh, $65K for a nissan? I don't believe most gamers have that kind of scratch.

It's funny cause it's true! :P

I'm sure the Skyline will do great either way

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I paid almost $65 for a Chevrolet......

Wow that was a great deal :P

But it's not just any Chevrolet, it's a Corvette, completely different. And even at $65k, its still a bargain.

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Uhhh, $65K for a nissan? I don't believe most gamers have that kind of scratch.

So it should be an Infiniti? So if that's the case why not call it the Cadillac Corvette? Cuz it ruins the name, just like it would ruin the GT-R to be an Inifini and not a Nissan

the NISSAN GT-R is legendary.  To change the brand of that car to some pansy yuppie brand like INFINITI would be watering down the merit of the car.

just like CHEVROLET CORVETTE

Exactly

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I really question the 'legendary' claim for the GT-R. The car has never been imported in the U.S.- it's exposure in the NA market is from video games, correct? That's akin to Paris Hilton's claim to fame in my book, but that's just one man's opinion.

nissan & infinti are the same company- it shouldn't matter which badge is glued to the car. And the extremely limited market for the vehicle will buy no matter what the badge says. But "nissan" simply doesn't have the established cache' to support a $65K car. In as much as it really doesn't matter in the long run- if the price is going to be that ridiculously high, the car should probably be an "infiniti". But the best move would be to get the price down where it belongs: closer to $30K.

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I really question the 'legendary' claim for the GT-R. The car has never been imported in the U.S.- it's exposure in the NA market is from video games, correct? That's akin to Paris Hilton's claim to fame in my book, but that's just one man's opinion.

nissan & infinti are the same company- it shouldn't matter which badge is glued to the car. And the extremely limited market for the vehicle will buy no matter what the badge says. But "nissan" simply doesn't have the established cache' to support a $65K car. In as much as it really doesn't matter in the long run- if the price is going to be that ridiculously high, the car should probably be an "infiniti". But the best move would be to get the price down where it belongs: closer to $30K.

:lol:

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Just as the Chevrolet Corvette became the Cadillac XLR... (I predict) so will the Nissan GT-R become an Infiniti... wait and see.

Infiniti dealers just need to make more noise. Two-door/Two-seat hard-top to compete against SC, XLR, & SL. Nissan isn't stupid; Especially if they're going to introduce Infiniti into Europe and Asia.

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Meh...why dont they call it a Lincoln GT or a Volvo GT. No. Its FORD GT. Its CHEVY Corvette. Granted, the GT-R is not even close to beginning to be in the same boat as those two in terms of legend status (hell it aint even hanging with the Camaro or Mustang) but its always been a Nissan, and always will remain a Nissan. I think it's stupid to take a car with a history such as that one and pretty it up for a company desperate for an icon. Infiniti needs to quit they're bitching, and wait for their next up level, SL500/XLR/SC430 competitor called the...iono... G55?

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As someone who's interest's lie with Nissan rather than Infiniti (we have an interest in 3 Nissan stores), I personally like the decision....but, as the pricing is 20K over the next most expensive showroom product and 1500 cars means 1 per dealer, I don't see the logic in the decision, if only from a sales/service perspective...between training, tools and parts, some Nissan stores may even pass, since it may be difficult to 'qualify' (i.e. Nissan NA insists you buy x,y & z to get an alotment)

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Meh...why dont they call it a Lincoln GT or a Volvo GT. No. Its FORD GT. Its CHEVY Corvette. Granted, the GT-R is not even close to beginning to be in the same boat as those two in terms of legend status (hell it aint even hanging with the Camaro or Mustang) but its always been a Nissan, and always will remain a Nissan.

Corvette? Maybe not.

Ford GT? The GT-R's racing history isn't exactly insignificant.

But not hanging with the Mustang or Camaro as a legend? I don't quite agree with that.

Hell, if Dodge can move Vipers (which really have no serious history to speak of) at $87k, Nissan can certainly handle the GT-R.

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Corvette? Maybe not.

Ford GT? The GT-R's racing history isn't exactly insignificant.

But not hanging with the Mustang or Camaro as a legend? I don't quite agree with that.

Hell, if Dodge can move Vipers (which really have no serious history to speak of) at $87k, Nissan can certainly handle the GT-R.

In very limited numbers, yes it will sell. It wont sell like the Corvette, but it should do ok.

Though at that price it is competing with the Z06, I think based on performance alone, the Nissan wont stand a chance, but then again, how many sports cars have a chance anyway, at any price?

Whether it is an Infiniti or a Nissan though, I dont think it really matters.

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Hell, if Dodge can move Vipers (which really have no serious history to speak of) at $87k, Nissan can certainly handle the GT-R.

Dodge as a marque has a good 50 years of racing & performance heritage- so it's understandable that the Viper has longevity at that price level. "nissan".... doesn't even come close.

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In very limited numbers, yes it will sell. It wont sell like the Corvette, but it should do ok.

Though at that price it is competing with the Z06, I think based on performance alone, the Nissan wont stand a chance, but then again, how many sports cars have a chance anyway, at any price?

Whether it is an Infiniti or a Nissan though, I dont think it really matters.

Don't be so sure, I bet the GT-R will easily handle as well as the Z06

Hell, if Dodge can move Vipers (which really have no serious history to speak of) at $87k, Nissan can certainly handle the GT-R.

Dodge as a marque has a good 50 years of racing & performance heritage- so it's understandable that the Viper has longevity at that price level. "nissan".... doesn't even come close.

A lot of people know about the Skyline GT-R, the fact that we all know what it is is proof enough that the car is fairly well known in the automotive world, despite never being sold in N/A. Since this is a low volume car, and peopel who are car enthusiasts will be the ones buying them, Nissan doesn't have to worry about the uptight rich guys who just want an expensive toy but don't want it under a Nissan badge, or Altima buyers who just want a family car.

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"We all" don't know: I know almost nothing about it. If it was officially raced, how many years/ generations there were, powerplants... what video games it's been in....

And GT-R "easily" handling as well as the Z06... what would make you believe that??

It's still overpriced by 30 grand.

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"We all" don't know: I know almost nothing about it. If it was officially raced, how many years/ generations there were, powerplants... what video games it's been in....

And GT-R "easily" handling as well as the Z06... what would make you believe that??

It's still overpriced by 30 grand.

http://www.metacafe.com/watch/94053/skyline_gtr/

I take it back, it handles way better.

http://cars.ign.com/articles/481/481450p1.html

Some history about the car and the races it's won.

http://www.edmunds.com/insideline/do/Featu...rticleId=106627

Skyline GTR Z-tune

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I am dissapointed they are calling it just 'GT-R', 'Skyline GT-R' sounds much better, IMHO....though I think in Japan this generation is going to be just 'GT-R' also, since it's not based directly on the Skyline (current generation is the G35 in US) anymore...

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