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Infiniti Unconcerned New M Too High-Tech

Nissan’s luxury brand will educate dealers on the M’s plentiful technology via PowerPoint presentations, rather than wait for cars to be available, and will include in-depth tutorials on its website and in its ads.

SAN DIEGO – Infiniti officials are not concerned the new ’11 M is too complex, at least for Infiniti's young, male and tech-oriented customers.

“I think you have the want and desire to dig deeper with technology with our customer,” Ben Poore, vice president-Infiniti Americas, says during an M media backgrounder here. “Having said that, we’ve got to do a job of explaining all this technology.”

Nissan Motor Co. Ltd.’s Infiniti luxury brand is introducing an alphabet-soup of new tech features with the ’11 M, including BSW (blind-spot warning); BSI (blind-spot intervention); LDP (lane-departure prevention); DCA (distance-control assist); and ANC (active noise control).

Standard on both the M37 and M56 is a center-console knob allowing drivers to dial in their preferred throttle and shift settings: sport, standard, eco or snow.

An “eco pedal,” which will push back on a driver’s foot if he tries to override the resistance of the accelerator in eco mode, also is available.

Infiniti hopes to educate most owners via its M website, which includes in-depth explanations of the various technologies, Poore says.

“The other thing we’re doing very differently is we generally didn’t start to train our sales people until we had enough cars, along with competitor cars, to go dealership-to-dealership,” he says.

Instead, PowerPoint presentations are being used to train sales staff in advance.

Also, some print ads, in car-buff magazines, for instance, will feature detailed technical explanations of some of the M’s features.

One-on-one instruction also will be available at dealerships, geared toward the interest level of the buyer.

“Some customers will say, “I want that!” Done,” Poore says. “If you spend more time with them, you’re going to get them upset. Other customers are going to want complete detail.”

Infiniti also has a program in place called Re-Connect, in which the buyer can come back to the dealership or have the dealer come to him to answer any questions or demonstrate how the technology works up to two weeks after taking delivery.

The ’11 M, available with either a 3.7L V-6 or new 5.6L V-8 and with rear- or all-wheel drive, goes on sale March 18 at U.S. Infiniti dealers.

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