Are Nissan and Infiniti the Same Manufacturer?

Nissan and Infiniti are two popular vehicle brands that have made their way into the United States. However, who owns Nissan and Infiniti? Who owns these auto brands, and how did they become so popular? 

Are Nissan and Infiniti the same manufacturer? 

According to Garage Dreams, Infiniti is a luxury division of Nissan that was first introduced to the United States in 1989. Infiniti vehicles were and still are being used to target the premium vehicle market in the United States with options that don’t fit in their more premium lineup. 

A blue 2021 Nissan Rogue parked in front of a house
The 2021 Nissan Rogue parked in a driveway | Nissan

But who owns Nissan? Nissan is a Japanese automaker with vehicles in the United States. Its lineup includes the Nissan Leaf, Frontier, Titan, Rogue, and more. Nissan was founded in 1933 and officially came to the United States in 1958 under the name Datsun. Nissan owns the Datsun brand and sold vehicles under that name until 1986. 

Also, Nissan is owned by the Renault-Nissan-Mitshubishi alliance. Renault holds a 43.4-percent stake in Nissan, and Nissan owns 15-percent of Renault shares. Both companies have a direct interest in the results of each other. Also, in 2016, Nissan acquired Mitsubishi Motors for $2.3 billion and owns Infiniti. 

Why did Nissan launch Infiniti? 

Nissan and Infiniti are a result of the Plaza Accord of 1985. The Japanese government imposed voluntary export restraints for the United States market. As a result, it became more profitable to export more expensive vehicles to Noth America. This also allowed Nissan to take on rivals such as Toyota and Lexus, and Honda and Acura. 

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The first Infiniti models launched by Nissan include the Q45 and M30. Now the Infiniti lineup has expanded to include the QX80, compact QX50 hybrid, three-row QX60, and more. In 2018, Japan announced that the Infiniti brand would become totally electric. All new cars from 2021 are expected to become fully electric or hybrid. 

How are Nissan and Infiniti different? 

At first glance, Nissan and Infiniti vehicles may not seem that different. But there are some significant upgrades with Infiniti models, as it serves as the performance and luxury brand. Nissan produces more economical options. 

Comfort is one of the most significant differences to consider. The interiors are different because you get what you pay for. Infiniti models have interiors that are crafted with more premium materials with driver and passenger comfort in mind. 

Quality materials may include better noise insulation for a quiet cabin, leather upholstery, real wood trim pieces, higher-end sound systems, more electronics, more advanced tech, and a higher quality finish. 

An image of a 2021 Infiniti QX50 parked outside.
2021 Infiniti QX50 | Infiniti

Infiniti vehicles may have superior component and engine specifications as well. Both Nissan and Infiniti have driver assistance features, including blind-spot warning, distracted driver alert, lane-keeping assistance, and more. But Infiniti vehicles often have newer and better systems first. 

Plus, Infiniti vehicles usually have more powerful engines for enhanced performance. Infiniti models are commonly paired with rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive for a sportier ride with the capability to handle snow. Nissan vehicles are typically front-wheel drive, but 4×4 or AWD can be added to some options.