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INFINITI

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Infiniti is a premium brand created by Nissan, an automaker who really made its name selling mostly affordable and utilitarian motoring solutions. It was founded in 1989, the same year Lexus was created, with a similar goal of selling more luxurious cars to Americans.

Its badge apparently carries a double meaning: it represents both a road that extends into the sky and also that ubiquitous Japanese leitmotif, Mount Fuji. Sounds spot on for an America-only brand of high-end Japanese cars, and proof of that is the fact that the cars actually sold decently.

At first, the models it tried to sell were merely badge engineered versions of usually larger cars that were already on sale in Japan. It launched with two models: the Q45 sedan and the M30 two door which were based on the President and Leopard respectively; the third model they added to the range, in 1991, the G20 was actually based on the Primera, a European model.

The brand has evolved since then quite a lot, and it has gained individuality over its Nissan masters. Its latest models are some of the best looking in the premium segment, and it’s hard really to see their utilitarian roots in lesser Nissan models.

It also no longer sells cars only in North America, although some markets it tried penetrating weren’t that receptive. The US remains the main market by a long shot, though - they sold nearly 134,000 cars there in 2015 and only 7,000 in Europe (they actually sold more in Canada - 11,300). China is fast becoming a major player too, registering 70,000 sales in 2015.

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