Kevin Williston made a pit-stop in Winnipeg and Infiniti Canada’s regional manager for Western Canada brought with him the two newest entries in Infiniti’s line-up. On Wed., Oct. 5, about 100 invited guests showed up at Birchwood Infiniti for a gala evening featuring hors d’oeuvres and wine, to meet Williston and lay eyes on the new 2017 Q60 and the QX30 – Infiniti Canada’s first crossover SUV.
“The crossover SUV segment is the fastest-growing market segment in Canada,” notes Williston, whose recent travels with the new models included stops beginning in Victoria and hitting the other major cities in Western Canada. “It was really important for Infiniti to have a model in this segment. We have had a great reception everywhere we have introduced the new models.”
Williston says the QX30 models the signature Infiniti design. He points out the unique human eye-inspired headlights and the double arch grille. “The QX30 has real napa leather inside and the world’s first 360-degree monitoring system (with the Technology Package),” he says. (The Technology Package also comes with blind spot and lane departure warning, intelligent cruise control and forward emergency breaking.)
The QX30 is powered by a 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder engine that puts out 208 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. The model has a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission and European-tuned suspension. The model is available in a choice of three trims — base model, an AWD model and Sport model. Williston said the QX30 is expected to appeal to younger adults. The pricing for the new crossover SUV starts at $35,900.
As for the 2017 Q60, “the coupe is back,” Williston noted. “Traditional Infiniti owners have been waiting quite a while for this new model,” he said. “The old Q60 was getting a little long in the tooth.”
This new luxury sports coupe comes in three trims, starting with the base car, powered by a 208hp 2L turbocharged four-cylinder engine. The next is a 300hp 3L twin-turbo V-6. Then there’s a Red Sport 400, powered by an uprated twin-turbo 400hp V-6..
Williston noted the Q60 shares many of the same Infiniti luxury features as the QX30. The base price for the 2-17 Q60 is about $49,000. “We have already sold several Q60s and more are on their way,” reports Birchwood Infiniti General Sales Manager Tom McKee.
2017 Pathfinder, Titan arrive
Birchwood Infiniti’s sister store, Birchwood Nissan (along with Manitoba’s other Nissan stores), welcomed two new 2017 models. The Titan, which arrived several weeks ago, is fully redesigned, sales rep Colton Stewart says.
While the frame is the same and the box is the same size, he notes, the body is different — there’s a new grille and headlight array and the interior is more modern. The half-ton truck is powered by a 5.6L V-8 engine that produces 390hp. “This model is more fuel efficient than its predecessor,” Stewart says.
There are two cab styles available — Single Cab and Crew Cab — with a King Cab version still to come.
The 2017 Titan is available in a choice of five trims — S, SV, Pro 4X, SL, and Platinum Reserve. The top-of-the-line option package includes 360-degree camera, LED running headlights, upgraded leather, heated and cooled front seats, heated rear seats, front tow hooks and a trailer brake controller with a trailer light function check via the keyfob. The 2017 Titan ranges in price from $46,000 to $68,000.
The 2017 Pathfinder arrived in Nissan showrooms in mid-September. According to Stewart, the new model has a more modern-looking grille and LED running lights. In back, there is a new bumper cover and taillight lenses, along with a motion-activated liftgate. The navigation system, Stewart says, is modelled on the Murano’s nav system.
The Pathfinder is available in a choice of four trims — S, SV, SL, and Platinum.
The model is powered by a 3.5L V-6 engine — the VQ35DD, the latest version of the VQ engine — that produces 284 hp and 259 lb-ft of torque. The family-friendly 2017 Pathfinder ranges in price from $34,000 to $50,000.
Damien Burns now management
In a sales career at Birchwood Honda West spanning 14 years, Damien Burns has taken sales to a whole new level.
Over the past five years, Burns has been the Birchwood Auto Group’s top selling sales rep. (The Birchwood Group operates 14 new car stores in Winnipeg offering 14 different brands.)
“His presentation, his product knowledge, his customer focus is amazing,” Bruce Burns said of his son in an earlier interview. “The key is that Damien is able to take something complex and break it down so that the customer can understand what Damien is talking about.” Now, Damien Burns has taken a step up in his career. At the beginning of July, he left Birchwood Honda for a sales management position at Birchwood Nissan just across the road.
“My goal has always been to move into management and eventually become general manager of one of the Birchwood stores,” he says. “I appreciate that the Birchwood Group felt that I was ready to move up to management.”
Dealer of the week
Sales Rep: Ariel Maudi
Dealership: Vickar Nissan
No. of Years: 4 months
Favourite Model: Nissan Murano
Why: "The Murano is a good family car," Maudi says. "It's a good size with a lot of safety features."