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(shameless plug) Of course we are having our own "driving" FX national event Register Here! :wink:

Now back to your question, I'm not sure why Infiniti doesn't do the driving tour. Of course I wonder if there really is any ROI for such events.
 

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I read somewhere that attendees are 50% more likely to purchase the vehicle after attending an event.

I'm interested in driving comparable cars back to back without sales pressure. A G35 vs new 3 series would be good for Infiniti.

Last week we went to Ray Catena MB in NJ to look at the ML350/500. The salesman watched us like a hawk. We hate that kind of treatment and left after only a couple minutes. I'm guessing it is because I look youngish and was wearing a t-shirt, shorts and sandals.
 

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Tummy said:
I read somewhere that attendees are 50% more likely to purchase the vehicle after attending an event.
That is such a hard thing to judge. Now did attendees filling out a survey at the event itself say that they would be more likey to purchase that brand's product? Sure, I believe that. It's right there fresh in their mind and they probably had a good experience. What I would like to see is actual hard numbers of sales increases in that market directly contributed to the event.

Untill these events can acutally prove they produce hard sales, it's hard to see any return on investment besides people like us enjoying them. That's a lot of coin they spend I bet.
 

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Last week we went to Ray Catena MB in NJ to look at the ML350/500. The salesman watched us like a hawk. We hate that kind of treatment and left after only a couple minutes.
We went to the new mercedes dealer here in NM and there was only a lady outside that side her name and to let here know if we wanted to see a salesperson. It was nice walking around with no one following you making chit chat.
 

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I love these guys who use old school hack smarmy talk like

"....you look good in it. What color should I put you down for?"


Sweet Fx said:
Last week we went to Ray Catena MB in NJ to look at the ML350/500. The salesman watched us like a hawk. We hate that kind of treatment and left after only a couple minutes.
We went to the new mercedes dealer here in NM and there was only a lady outside that side her name and to let here know if we wanted to see a salesperson. It was nice walking around with no one following you making chit chat.
 

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I've attended the Mazda Rev It Up events here in NY and while it was alot of fun, I never really had any wish to check out the cars or purchase one. Just wanted to beat on their cars and get some autocross time in. Must say that they were very well put together and most likely sold them alot of cars.
 

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93til said:
I love these guys who use old school hack smarmy talk like

"....you look good in it. What color should I put you down for?"
"What do you want to pay for this car?"

"What is it gonna take to have you drive this car home?"

Yeah, good stuff. So long as you have someone handy that you can deal with that doesn't sling that stuff. Hahahah.

Matthew
 

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Infiniti did have such an event a few years ago when the new Q came out (Zero to Infiniti). In SoCal, it was at the Fontana Raceway, and you could drive the Q and other comparable cars around a course at speeds up to 80-90mph (compared with maybe 40mph at a Taste of Lexus event). A professional driver also took you around the oval in a Q at 130+ :D
 

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I went to Lexus' Taste of Luxury Event in Houston last fall and had a wonderful experience. All I can speculate is that Lexus has enough confidence in their product to "pay" you test them against the competition
 

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I attended the BMW event last weekend in San Diego. The event was advertised to the non-BMW. (The invitation was addressed to my wife, who’s the primary driver of our FX35, and not to me, who primarily drives a BMW and belongs to the BMWCCA. Fortunately, they don’t care what you drive when you sign up; anyone can participate, and there's no charge.) Judging from the cars in the parking lot, and my conversations with attendees, most of the people there didn’t own BMWs.

There are three different "experiences." Autocross Driving Instruction, The Ultimate Drive, and the Student Driver Program. I participated in the Autocross; my daughter did the Student Driver Program. The Ultimate Drive is just an opportunity to test drive various models of BMW on the surrounding streets.

For the Autocross, they provide three different cars: the BMW 300, an Infiniti G35, and an Audi A4 Quattro. Each car is equipped as similarly as possible – all have sports packages and automatic transmissions.

We went out in groups of three (plus an instructor, all of whom are professional race car drivers). We started with a couple of laps in the BMW, at whatever speed we wanted. The autocross course was pretty long; taking about 2 minutes to complete, with lots of different turns and features. A really nice touch: they placed green cones at the turn-in and apex points on each corner, so you could really nail the corners from the first lap. We then got to compare the three different cars, by taking a fast lap in each. Then, we all took final hot lap in the BMW. The instructors were very helpful, providing lots of feedback and instruction the whole time. It was fun to ride in the back seat while the others in your group drove; you learn a lot from their technique, and the instructors comments to them. Some drivers were extremely aggressive, others were fairly passive. But we could always smell lots of rubber when we got out of the cars; that was nice!

My impression: There’s no comparison between the cars. The 330 took every corner you could throw at it with ease, and never got squirrelly or out of control. The slight understeer going in under a heavy braking load was predictable, and disappeared quickly. Overall, the car inspires a lot of confidence when driving it hard; you really have a feel for what it’s capable of, and what it’s going to do.

The G-35 handled well, but not as well as the 330; and it wasn’t as predictable, so the confidence level was not as high. Surprisingly, it was no faster than the 330, even though it had about 45 more horses and the same weight. This is due to much better lower end torque on the 330; you have to really wind up the G35 and keep it in high revs to get all of its power. On the 330, the power is there almost all the time.

What surprised (disappointed) me most was the Audi A4 Quatro 3.2; even though it has the same power, it’s heavier, so it’s more sluggish. And the 60:40 weight balance puts a lot of that weight on the front end; the result: extreme understeer. Every one of us plowed over cones on the outside of corners we easily took in the 330, as the car just couldn’t handle the turns as well.

It's easy to see why BMW does this: everyone came away with first-hand knowledge that that, for hard driving and emergency manuvering, the 330 clearly outhandles the competitors' cars.

The Student Driver Program lasted 3 hours; kids got to drive just BMWs, on three different small courses. The first course was to teach emergency lane changes, the second was for the most effective braking techniques when in a car equipped with an ABS system, and the third was a small skid pad, to teach vehicle dynamics and control when cornering at slow speeds on slick roads. Everyone really enjoyed it, and the consensus was they all learned a lot.
 
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