2014 Lexus IS 350 and IS 250 pass Infiniti Q50 on way to number two in sales
When Lexus launched the new 2014 IS line of compact sports sedans one year ago it was truly the underdog in the class. BMW owned the top spot, and had for literally decades. Nissan’s Infiniti G37 was considered the “value” BMW choice. Infiniti offered similar or better performance at a lower cost. Over the past year, the Lexus IS has overtaken the Infiniti offering and the sales curves are currently in favor of the Lexus in a big way.
Infiniti's Unusual Sales Strategy for 2014 G37 and Q50
Infiniti also launched a new compact sports sedan in 2014 to replace its successful G37. The new vehicle was to be called the Q50. We drove the Q50 on roads and on the track and found that it had changed its personality entirely. The Q50 now feels bigger, is bigger, and it drives much more like a luxury car than a sports compact. There is nothing wrong with this, but Infiniti is moving away from the class the G37 had been strong in. Apparently the customers are not.
Interestingly, Infiniti kept selling the G37 with lower content than the Q50 in an attempt to try to cover more of the customers’ needs. It is hard to say it has worked. For the year the G37’s sales are down to less than half their prior sales volume. The Q50 is selling OK, but in combination, the Q50 and the G37 sedans do not match Lexus’ new sales volume. Lexus has now passed Infiniti in monthly sales in one of the most important segments to these automakers.
Audi A4, Cadillac ATS, Mercedes C-class
Just to be sure we were not missing something we also compared the 3,932 units Lexus sold to Audi’s A4 (3,365). We checked Cadillac’s new ATS sedan’s sales as well (2,358). Mercedes may have sales higher than the Lexus with its C-Class, but Mercedes does not break out the sedans from the coupes, so we are not certain that the 5,607 C-class vehicles it sold included more sedans than Lexus. It could very well have. However, Mercedes C- class sales are in a nosedive, with monthly sales down 27%, and year to date C-class sales down 28%. The new front-drive, entry-level CLA sells in relatively low numbers, less than 1,700 were sold in June.
One thing we do know for sure is that the Lexus IS is a big hit for the brand, and the IS 250 and IS 350 are pulling ahead of the Infiniti Q50 heading into the 2015 model year.