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.

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The Infiniti QX60 Monograph will show off a new design direction for the company's best-selling SUV.

Photo courtesy of Infiniti Motors

A new Infiniti QX60 is on the horizon. The luxury arm of Nissan will reveal a prototype version of the next-gen QX60 SUV on September 24.

Known as the QX60 Monograph, the one-off is a design study of the forthcoming three-row SUV. Automakers will typically showcase a design study to give buyers an idea of the direction of the new model ahead of a significant shift in design.

Last autumn, AutomotiveMap was one of the invited guests of Infiniti to see the new QX55 and QX60. No photos were allowed, but we were able to tell you what we saw.

The looks of the next-gen QX60 are more straightforward and muscular than the current model. The design is a true evolution and it fits in nicely with the looks of the QX55 and the QX80. This new model has its grille more upright and headlights that are narrow, with an overall look that may remind folks of the Hyundai Santa Fe. Infiniti used "masculine" when describing the aesthetic.

There were no powertrain details available though given the tenor of the presentation Infiniti was giving, it's likely the QX60 will have some element of electrification coming though the company has said that the model will not be electrified at launch. It will come standard with front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive will be available.

The interior of the next-gen model is wholly different than the 2020 version. The thoroughly modern SUV features USB ports at its seats, a Wi-Fi hot spot, and two 12.1-inch infotainment screens that replace the current entertainment, information, and climate control center stack setup.

Its cabin is outfitted in fine appointments befitting a premium brand, including quilter leather.

Infiniti says that the model will feel wider than its predecessor.

Designers have given the model the ability to come with a two-tone paint job.

At its rear is new signature Infiniti badging with the word "Infiniti" making its way back onto the tailgate of the SUV. During the presentation, the crowd was teased with the possibility that the "I" in the Infiniti badging may be functional and serve as the vehicle's tailgate release.

More information on the QX60 Monograph will be available soon.

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Volkswagen has teamed with its dealerships to offer vehicles for training.

Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

Volkswagen donated 12 Atlas SUVs to technical and trade schools across the U.S. The donations are the result of a partnership with local dealers as an element of the company's Drive Bigger initiative.

"These vehicles will be essential in assisting the next generation of Volkswagen technicians to interact with and learn the latest technology that is part of our exciting model lineup" said John Peterson, Director of Fixed Operations." At Volkswagen we strongly believe in investing in the next generation and with our growing model lineup, it's critical we give these young technicians the opportunity to be hands on with our vehicles to help ensure we continue to deliver a high level of customer satisfaction in the future."

New vehicles are a key component to training tomorrow's technicians, especially with rapidly evolving powertrain options and new, more versatile platforms being used by more extensively by automakers across the world.

The donations will allow students to train on Volkswagen vehicles utilizing the VW ODIS software used to diagnose and perform updates. The selected schools will collaborate with local dealerships to provide supplemental assistance and instruction on the donated equipment.

The Northeast Region is the first group of schools to be part of the program. The schools receiving the vehicles and instruction include:

  • Automotive Training Center (Warminster, PA)
  • Cincinnati State Technical and Community College (Cincinnati, OH)
  • Hudson Valley Community College (Troy, NY)
  • Lincoln Technical Institute (Mahwah, NJ)
  • MassBay Community College Automotive Technology Center (Ashland, MA)
  • Medina County Career Center (Medina, OH)
  • Saline High School (Saline, MI)
  • Suffolk County Community College (Centereach, NY)
  • SUNY Canton Automotive Technology (Canton, NY)
In total, 34 dealerships will assist with the program in the northeast.

Volkswagen isn't the only company helping to assist with the eduction of the next generation of technicians. Volvo announced earlier this year that they will be working with dealerships to provide tens of thousands of dollars worth of tools for beginner technicians as well as student loan relief.

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