Large SUVs and minivans have fallen on the hardest of times in the industry's late downturn, and casualties of the recession mount daily. Today's trio in triage are the Infiniti QX56, Nissan Quest and Nissan Armada.
Nissan today confirmed that it would be bringing U.S. production of the three large vehicles to an end by 2010. The vehicles are currently built in the U.S. at the Canton, Mississippi plant. Future models of the QX56 and Quest will be built in Japan, but the Armada's future remains in doubt. Similar news regarding the QX56 and Armada had been circulating as early as December of last year.
The missive from Nissan did not rule out a future for the Armada, but its conspicuous absence from the 'future production' list hints strongly at its cancellation or replacement come the end of this generation. The reason behind the move is no doubt its calumnious fall from favor in 2008, losing 50.4% against 2007 sales. In their place, the new NV-series of commercial vehicles will occupy the Canton plant's capacity.
On the brighter side at Nissan/Infiniti, however, new versions of the M, QX and an all-new petrol-electric hybrid model have all been confirmed for production. Just a week ago John Capps, chairman of Infiniti’s National Dealer Advisory Board revealed that the cars had been green-lighted.
The hybrid model in particular will be of interest. Branded as an Infiniti vehicle, it will likely do battle with Lexus' recently-released HS 250h dedicated hybrid. Based around a G35 or G37 platform, the car is expected to feature a unique double-clutch system among other innovations. For more on the hybrid, check out the prototype spotted here.