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Infiniti Plots New Subcompact Crossover

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Apparently the QX30 isn't pulling its weight.

Crossovers, in case you hadn't noticed, have become big business – for luxury automakers especially. Like Infiniti, which is tipped to be working on a new model to slot in below the QX50.

Speaking to Autocar, Infiniti's design director Karim Habib hinted that a smaller crossover could be in the works. That'd likely mean a subcompact model to take on the likes of the Audi Q3, BMW X1, and Mercedes GLA. It's a market which has grown increasingly competitive – and crowded, with entries like the Jaguar E-Pace, Volvo XC40, Cadillac XT4, and Lexus UX.

Now at this point you may be thinking that Infiniti already makes a subcompact luxury crossover. And you'd be right... sorta. The QX30, though, is more of a ruggedized hatchback, based closely on the Q30. In fact you can get a Q30 hatchback in America without the lower body cladding, but it's still called the QX30 all the same.

This, then, would be more of a proper crossover to help Nissan take a bigger slice of that particular pie. Though the QX30 started out strong, sales plummeted in the first quarter of this year by a whopping 57 percent.

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That places it well behind the X1, GLA, and Q3 in the segment rankings, and could by itself explain the Japanese automaker's motivations in rolling out something more competitive.

Infiniti sold nearly three times as many crossovers in the US last month as it did conventional passenger cars. The QX50, QX60, and QX80 stand as its three most successful models, the latter just edging out the Q50 sedan that stands as the brand's most popular passenger car. Of the 12,536 vehicles in sold in America throughout September, the QX30 accounted for just 560 units – about a fifth of the QX50's sales.