Nashville, Tenn. — Thirty-two years after its beginning as an automaker, INFINITI today looks back at its daring history as a human-centric brand created to challenge conventions.
An 8-part short film series created with one of the brand's early architects explores the fundamental tenets of INFINITI, customer-service philosophies, its early vehicles, and its daring concept as a new luxury automaker. Narrated by Dean Leathers, one of the brand's first product specialists in 1986, the series continues INFINITI's journey toward the horizon as a customer-focused automaker.
"We went into fairly great depth, to define what luxury meant to people in the United States," Leathers says. "And one of the things that kept popping up wasn't necessarily softer seats, and better air conditioning … but luxury actually started to be a lot about time."
In the films, Leathers relates the origins of the INFINITI name, logo, and an ownership experience that has since become legendary — and often duplicated by others. As one of the early spokespeople for INFINITI, Leathers talks in-depth about the brand's footing among luxury automakers to treat customers as "honored guests" and infusing Japanese luxury into an American market ready for a new buying and ownership experience.
"From the very beginning, the essence of the brand was people. Whether it be the customers, or the people within the division, or the retailers. That was at the heart of everything, was to run a human brand," Leathers says.
"If you're driving a traditional luxury car, you're fitting the car. We want INFINITI to fit the person," he adds.
The series delves into the brand's first flagship sedan, the INFINITI Q45, which helped define the automaker's early identity. Far from a traditional luxury sedan, the Q45 marked INFINITI's early intentions to create a driver-focused experience with nuance and luxury in its vehicles.
"The people that loved the Q45, really loved the Q45. They got it. They got what we were trying to do because it was aligned with their sensibilities. They didn't want to be like everyone else. They didn't want to buy (a typical luxury car),'" Leathers says.
When the Q45 first appeared in the U.S., Leathers remembers INFINITI's founding member and lead designer Takashi Oka casually throwing him the keys to be among the first to drive the sedan — and quickly reaching triple-digit speeds at a test track at Tochigi in Japan.
"I think that one thing that has become crystal clear, merely 35 years after we first started talking about what we could call human-centric, we were proven right," Leathers says in the series. "When you take care of your customers, treat them as honored guests, and really focus on customer needs and team member needs, that is a winning strategy for business, not just the car business, any business."
The 8-part series, which is available at INFINITI.com, tells the compelling story of the brand's beginning while looking ahead toward the horizon.
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INFINITI Motor Company is headquartered in Yokohama, Japan with operations around the world including regional offices based in the Americas, China and INFINITI International Markets based in Dubai. The INFINITI brand of premium automobiles are assembled in manufacturing facilities in Japan, North America and China. INFINITI design studios are located in Atsugi-Shi near Yokohama, London, San Diego and Beijing.
More information about INFINITI and its industry-leading technologies can be found at www.INFINITIUSA.com. You can also follow INFINITI on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and see all our latest videos on YouTube.
Contacts - INFINITI Communications
Manager, INFINITI U.S. Product and Brand Communications