Despite sluggish Q45 sales, Infiniti will not use customer incentives to move the metal.
Instead, the division says it will cut back on production of the sedan and will offer a freshened 2005 version this summer.
Jed Connelly, senior vice president of sales and marketing at Nissan North America Inc., said the company would like to sell more of the luxury sedan, but it makes better business sense to match production with vehicle demand.
He did not detail the production changes.
Connelly said the company at one time used discounts to sell the Q45. But the latest version of the car commands transaction prices $10,000 higher than its predecessor and is better at holding its residual value.
Sticker prices of the 2004 Q45 start at $52,990, including freight charges.
The company sold 2,440 Q45s in the United States in 2003, down from 3,717 in 2002.
"We would rather accept reasonable volumes at solid transaction prices than discount the vehicle because it diminishes the brand in the consumers' eye," Connelly said after the Infiniti make meeting. "We try to match production with market demand."
Steve Lapin, owner of Infiniti of Thousand Oaks in Thousand Oaks, Calif., and the dealer who conducted the Infiniti make meeting, says Infiniti dealers agree with the company's stance against incentives. "We want to keep the brand elevated," Lapin said. "We've already been there (used incentives) and don't want to go back."
Connelly said he also told dealers during the meeting that Infiniti had retooled its used-vehicle certification program, which it was to present to the Infiniti dealer advisory board last week.
Lapin said dealers have been concerned that Infiniti's certified used-vehicle program is not on par with those of other luxury brands in terms of factory marketing and support.
"Our used cars are in demand," Lapin said. "We need a program out there that is equal to that of Lexus and BMW."
Mark Igo, Infiniti general manager, said dealers expressed concern about whether Infiniti planned to add dealerships. He said any growth in dealership count would be small. Igo said the company will concentrate on expanding its volume with its existing 168 dealerships.