Blog: Turn looks into test drive bookings

Time 2:14 am, November 7, 2011

fx1‘WHAT car is this, please?’ says the marshal in a fluorescent jacket that does nothing for his complexion.

‘Infiniti’, I reply. ‘Who makes that?’ yellow jacket man replies. I was tempted to be frightfully flippant and say ‘Infiniti’ and but resorted to replying with ‘It’s made by Nissan’, as I wait to be told where to park at the Goodwood Breakfast Club.

I hate to say that because I know how annoyed I’d be if I was the man at Nissan who had signed off millions and millions of pounds to fund the luxurious Nissan brand. If Nissan wanted Infiniti to be known as a Nissan they would have put their name to it. But they haven’t.


Unlike big rival Toyota with their Lexus brand, Nissan has decided to keep their luxury arm entirely separate from the famous Japanese company that builds everything from a Pixo to a GT-R. There are separate dealerships for a start – six in the UK – and even journalists have to deal with a different press office to get the low-down on the cars.

I’ve been driving this car all week and have been involved in five conversations on what car it is, and I’ve lost count at the number of glances I have received. This Infiniti FX30d S gets a lot attention. That’s partly because of the way it looks, and also because of its size.


Parked next to a Subaru Impreza wagon and a special edition Audi TT quattro Sport, the Infiniti’s sheer bulk dwarfed them. It even prompted a glum look from the TT man who was polishing his pride and joy as he knew he had been trumped when it came to unusual cars. Perhaps he knew what was coming.

As I went in search for a bacon roll and a cup of brown stuff, I had a look at the other machinery car enthusiasts had turned up in. The Goodwood Breakfast Club, now five years old, is the ultimate expression of Britain’s love of cars. Turning up on a bitterly cold Sunday morning at 8am to look at other people’s motors could be construed as a touch mad, but car enthusiasts don’t care what other people think.

fx5This Breakfast Club was celebrating five years of the event and also included the theme of four-wheel-drive cars. So there was everything from a 1962 Ferrari 250 SWB to a Range Rover Sport, while other stretched the four-wheel-drive theme to its very limits by one chap bringing along his Bugatti Veyron and another in a brand new Ferrari FF.

These cars got the type of looks you’d expect them to get. But the Infiniti got its fair share of glances too with many people peering through the windows to get a peek of this unusual car, and I spent most of my time answering questions from puzzled people.

And that got me thinking. Harwoods Land Rover were there showing four Evoques even though there’s a full order book. So what if Infiniti or any other low-volume car seller pitched up with a tent, a couple of show cars and a bag of brochures at events like the Goodwood Breakfast Club?

Just think of the number of test drives that could be booked. Because, let’s be honest, car enthusiasts are not interested in looking at a car in the foyer of their local Tesco. So, car dealers: go to Goodwood and start talking to people. Everyone is a potential car buyer.

James Batchelor's avatar

James – or Batch as he’s known – started at Car Dealer in 2010, first as the work experience boy, eventually becoming editor in 2013. He worked for Auto Express as editor-at-large and was the face of Carbuyer’s YouTube reviews. In 2020, he went freelance and now writes for a number of national titles and contributes regularly to Car Dealer. In October 2021 he became Car Dealer's associate editor.

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