NEW YORK – The deals already have started for the all-new ’14 Infiniti Q50, and it doesn’t even go on sale at U.S. dealerships until the summer.
Starting today, Nissan’s luxury division is honoring firm prices and giving away iPad Minis to customers who preorder the entry-level premium sedan online.
“The iPad is a nice gift, and we’ll lock in vehicle pricing through the launch,” Ben Poore, Infiniti Americas vice president, says at the New York International Auto Show. “We are announcing pricing early to get people interested.”
The Q50’s price starts at $36,450. That’s $900 less than the G37 it replaces. A popularly equipped Q50 will run about $40,700.
A 328-hp 3.7L V-6 engine powers all trim levels of the car. An all-wheel-drive system is a $1,800 option to standard rear-wheel drive.
A hybrid version starts at $44,605, including a $905 destination charge. Its 3.7L engine produces 360 hp and offers a combined fuel economy of 34 mpg (6.9 L/100 km). “It is an amazing performance vehicle,” Poore tells WardsAuto.
The Q50 will play in the largest luxury segment in the auto industry, he notes. “It is the entryway for most people into luxury.”
Demographically, Poore describes the prospective Q50 buyer as typically about 47 years old with an income of $160,000. “On the psychographic side, we are talking about people looking at sports luxury, technology and customization. This is generally a younger group of luxury buyers.”
They are not die-hard bargain hunters, “but price is important to them, no doubt about it,” he says. “I wouldn’t call them price-shoppers, though.”
Price is an object for entry-level luxury car shoppers, says Alec Gutierrez, Kelley Blue Book’s senior market analyst-automotive insights.
“They do not have an infinite amount of money,” he tells WardsAuto. “Luxury consumers become less price-conscious as you move up the ladder. No one is asking, ‘What’s the cheapest BMW 7-Series you have?’ But for entry-level luxury vehicles? Yes, someone may ask that.”
Premium auto brands look over their shoulders at mainstream brands that offer upscale trim levels and amenities, Gutierrez says. “Technically, these are non-premium vehicles, but they offer lots of features. So premium pricing has to be competitive.”