Infiniti has big hopes for its upcoming QX55 coupe crossover but the automaker has been forced to delay the start of production by five months.
Initially, the Infiniti QX55 was to enter production in June 2020 at the Aguascalientes plant in Mexico co-owned by Nissan and Daimler. However, in a letter dated January 13, Nissan informed suppliers that the start of production has been postponed to November 2020.
The automaker didn’t get into details in the document but said there was a need “to ensure production capability” at the plant. Autonews contacted Infiniti for more details and got a rather evasive reply from a U.S. spokesman for the luxury brand.
“As noted in the letter from the production facility to suppliers, operational efficiencies drive projects to move — sometimes forward, sometimes backward— as we progress toward the start of production of a new model,” the representative said.
The Infiniti QX55 was supposed to arrive in U.S. dealerships this summer as a coupe-like version of the QX50 compact crossover. This unforeseen delay probably means the new model won’t reach customers earlier than December 2020. That’s not good news for the brand as U.S. sales are tanking and Infiniti desperately needs new products – the sooner, the better.
Infiniti’s U.S. sales dropped by 21.1 percent in 2019 to 117,708 units, with even the brand’s newest product, the QX50, seeing an abrupt 27 percent sales decline.
The premium Japanese company’s intention with the QX55 is to offer a competitor for the Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupe and BMW X4, among other models. Sporting a sloping roofline inspired by the first-generation Infiniti FX, the new model will also feature a different front fascia and grille design to help it stand out from the regular QX50.
Nothing will change under the surface, however, as the QX55 will share underpinnings with the QX50, including the 268 HP 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine.