Dealerships

Infiniti Now provides customers with 1:1 digital shopping tool, inspection transparency

Infiniti is taking new steps to make customers comfortable purchasing their vehicles from the company.

Photo courtesy of Infiniti Motors

A new customer service plan from Infiniti is aimed at giving customers a luxury retail experiences as they continue to socially distance. Infiniti Now will also support drivers on the road.

Retailers can now schedule services to meet customers for vehicle delivery and pickup, mobile test drives, at-home vehicle delivery, and enhanced vehicle cleaning at a location that suits both parties and takes into account their level of comfortability. The retailers may also engage in enhanced cleaning of high-touch areas and the implementation of social distancing within dealerships.

2020 Infiniti QX80 Infiniti is in the middle of a big two-year stretch of product refreshes and rollouts. Photo courtesy of Infiniti Motors

The personal digital shopping tool allows customers to have a 1:1 connection with Infiniti product experts. These experts can help INFINITI customers with everything from browsing and learning about the line-up to scheduling a test drive and getting their financing in order. The program can be accessed on www.infinitiusa.com or through a participating retailer website, and will empower consumers to speak with a local retailer via text or video.

Beta testing of Infiniti Now in select markets for evaluation and optimization has already begun, with a full roll-out for participating retailers beginning July 1, 2020.

Current Infiniti customers can receive a text from their dealership that features an interactive multi-point inspection of their vehicle. Called ICAR-X Service, this system will update the customer on their vehicle's condition after the technician completes the inspection. If any items require attention, the customer can authorize additional services from their phone with full transparency of pricing, allowing an exchange of information while respecting social distancing.

Additionally, Infiniti Now expands on previous financing commitments, and now offers deferred payments for up to 90 days on the purchase or lease of all new 2020 INFINITI models, in addition to 0 percent financing for 72 months.

Infiniti is in the middle of a big two-year stretch of product refreshes and rollouts. Many of its vehicles received infotainment system and design upgrades for the 2020 model year. The company is gearing up to launch the new QX55 SUV and has redesigned the QX60, which is slated to arrive on U.S. shores soon.

More information on INFINITI NOW is available at www.infinitiusa.com/coronavirus-covid-19.html.

Trending News

 
 

Polestar currently operates four showrooms in the U.S.

Photo courtesy of Polestar

Polestar, an electric performance car brand, will be opening 15 new sales locations in the U.S. by the end of 2021. Called Polestar Spaces, the showrooms are more in line with what Tesla offers and less like a traditional auto dealership.

Each Polestar Space features minimalist Scandinavian-like design, pulling together the heritage of the company with a modern sales environment. Each location is staffed by non-commissioned Polestar Specialists. Test drives can be coordinated on-site or at home.

In the next few months, locations in Austin, Texas; Boston; Denver, Seattle; South Florida; and Washington D.C. will open. Those new showrooms will be established in connection with established retailer groups in the area. Additional information regarding the D.C. and Florida locations is expected soon.

2021 Polestar 2 The fastback Polestar 2 is a head-turner. Photo courtesy of Polestar

The second-half of 2021 will welcome the opening of additional showrooms in Atlanta; Central and South New Jersey; Connecticut; Dallas; Detroit; Minneapolis; Phoenix; and Orange County, California.

Specific showroom details are available at Polestar.com/Spaces.

"In 2019 we stated our goal of servicing 85% of the addressable EV market within a year of the Polestar 2 launch," said Gregor Hembrough, Head of Polestar in North America. "With these 2021 appointments, we will accomplish that and more- especially with our free pickup and delivery servicing within 150 miles of a brick-and-mortar Polestar location."

Polestar Spaces are already open in Los Angeles (Santa Monica) and Manhattan, plus two locations in the San Francisco Bay Area (Corte Madera and Santa Clara).

The automaker currently offers the Polestar 2 for sale in the U.S. AutomotiveMap recently had the opportunity to test drive the car for review.

It was recently confirmed that the Polestar Precept concept is headed to production. The concept version of the car is noted for its sustainable materials and minimalist design.

Additionally, Polestar and Koenigsegg are working on a project.

Further markets for expansion will be announced later in 2021.

Trending News

 
 

San Jose Hotel engineering manager Rocky Ontiveros, 60, wears a Texas mask on March 3, 2021 in Austin, Texas. Gov. Greg Abbott announced a new executive order that will end the statewide mask mandate and allow businesses to reopen at 100 percent capacity on March 10, 2021.

Photo by Montinique Monroe/Getty Images

Reporting by Automotive News indicates that despite Texas Governor Greg Abbott's executive order lifting the mask mandate statewide and allowing businesses to begin operating at 100-percent capacity again, automakers aren't changing their tune.

This executive order rescinds most of the Governor's earlier executive orders related to COVID-19. The original orders were put in place as a response to rising COVID-19 cases, and related hospitalizations and deaths, in 2020.

The new order removes state regulations and allows private businesses and individuals to decide on their mask wearing protocol and habits. There are currently mask mandates in 35 states and the District of Columbia.

There are fallbacks in place. A release from the Governor's office states, "If COVID-19 hospitalizations in any of the 22 hospital regions in Texas get above 15% of the hospital bed capacity in that region for seven straight days, a County Judge in that region may use COVID-19 mitigation strategies. However, County Judges may not impose jail time for not following COVID-19 orders nor may any penalties be imposed for failing to wear a face mask. If restrictions are imposed at a County level, those restrictions may not include reducing capacity to less than 50% for any type of entity."

Toyota

Toyota, which has a factory in San Antonio, Texas told a reporter with Automotive News that they are looking into the move but don't anticipate any immediate changes to their mask-wearing protocol. Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Texas, Inc. employs 2,542 people and makes the midsize Tacoma and full-size Tundra pickup trucks.

The automaker as has its North American headquarters in Plano, Texas, a northern suburb of Dallas. That facility employs around 4,400 people, most of whom have been working remotely for the better part of a year.

"The early read is – no change for us," said Scott Vazin, Group Vice President and Chief Communications Officer for Toyota Motor North America, when approached for comment by Automotive News.

Toyota assembly plants traditionally offers tours of its facility to the general public. Due to COVID-19, plant tours have been suspended at all Toyota manufacturing facilities including those in San Antonio; Jackson, Tennessee; Blue Spring, Mississippi; and Troy, Missouri.

General Motors

General Motors (GM) has a big footprint in Texas. The company employs 8,133 people in the Lone Star State and works with 297 suppliers in the state across 13 facilities. Additionally, as of 2020, there are 588 GM dealership franchises in Texas.

The company's Arlington Assembly plant is home to every new full-size SUV in GM's product lineup sold globally: the Chevrolet Suburban and Tahoe, GMC Yukon and Yukon XL, and the Cadillac Escalade. GM Financial is headquartered in Fort Worth and one of GM's IT Innovation Centers is located in Austin. Assembly plants get much of their power from wind energy harvested from Cactus Flats and Hidalgo wind farms.

There are GM Financial centers in San Antonio, Arlington, and Sugar Land; a customer service center in Austin; a parts distribution site in Fort Worth; GM Financial headquarters in Fort Worth; a commercial lending office and the South Central Regional Office are in Irving.

Patrick Morrissey, Director, Corporate News Relations at GM, told Automotive News, "We'll keep our COVID safety protocols in place to ensure we continue to protect our employees."

Trending News