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Nissan delays Infiniti QX debut in Detroit as electric concept car fails to start, is pushed on stage

Key Points
  • Nissan was scheduled to launch its Infiniti QX Inspiration concept car in Detroit on Monday.
  • Executives drew the curtain on the all-electric SUV after about 30 minutes with no explanation.
  • The car was later pushed on stage.
Nissan Infiniti QX Inspiration concept car in the elevator of the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan, January 14, 2019.
Robert Ferris | CNBC

Nissan was scheduled to debut its new Infiniti QX Inspiration concept car at the Detroit auto show on Monday, but executives delayed the launch and closed the curtains on the car without any explanation.

Executives said they couldn't get the car started and eventually had to push it on stage. 

The Infiniti QX was among one of the hottest debuts anticipated at the North American International Auto Show. The more than 100 international journalists who lined up for the 11:40 a.m. launch in Detroit could see technicians working on the car just before it was scheduled to drive onto the stage.

After about 30 minutes of waiting, executives drew the curtains on the all-electric SUV and told the audience they hoped to reschedule the event for later in the day.

An empty display space for the Nissan Infiniti QX Inspiration concept car at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan, January 14, 2019.
Robert Ferris | CNBC

The crowd filtered out by 12:40 p.m. as janitors began mopping up the floor of the Infiniti stage. They later pushed the car on stage to a significantly thinner audience. 

Nissan at least had a sense of humor about the failed start.

"The Infiniti QX Inspiration, like many stunning beauties, is a bit of a diva and decided to to delay her debut. Another memorable NAIAS moment," Trevor Hale, head of Infiniti global communications, said in an email. "That's show business."

An empty display space for the Nissan Infiniti QX Inspiration concept car at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan, January 14, 2019.
Robert Ferris | CNBC