Infiniti boss says cute-ute tie-up with Mercedes-Benz won’t be renewed

Infiniti’s new president Christian Meunier said Monday that the Infiniti QX30 luxury crossover won’t return for a second generation in its current form.

«(The QX30 is) not a very successful product. We’ll keep selling it for now…but this is not a product that has a future beyond its current life,» he said at the 2019 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

«It will be replaced in the future by an all-Infiniti platform,» Meunier added.

The current QX30 is a result of a partnership between Infiniti-parent Nissan and Mercedes-Benz with a equally uncertain future. The two automakers’ partnership began in 2010, but it took until 2017 for a car to materialize from Infiniti. The Infiniti QX30 and Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class share related components, but last year Infiniti opted not to use an updated platform offered by Mercedes-parent Daimler. 

Up until late last year, the two said the partnership was still alive—although it’s unclear if any further shared cars will materialize.

Nissan invested more than $300 million in a U.K. plant to build the cars, which included Mercedes tooling. Mercedes and Nissan co-own a plant in Mexico, which is expected to produce the Mercedes-Benz GLB-Class, but Infiniti won’t share a line for that model.

Meunier hinted that the upcoming replacement for the QX30 could use variable-compression engine technology, which made its debut on the QX50 last year. A smaller-displacement engine—the QX50 uses a 2.0-liter variable-compression turbo—is in the pipeline, he said. It could be paired with batteries, which Infiniti calls e-Power, in the automaker’s new hybrid vehicles.

Last year, Infiniti pulled from sale its remaining hybrid, the Q70 Hybrid, after shelving a slow-selling QX60 Hybrid and Q50 Hybrid. The automaker currently doesn’t offer any electrified models, but has said that by 2023 every Infiniti on sale would offer an electrified powertrain.

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