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First American Car in 58 Years Arrives in Cuba

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INFINITI brings first U.S. vehicle to Cuba in 58 yearsThanks to the legendary trade embargo with the United States and Castro’s ban on foreign vehicle imports, newer cars are few and far between on the streets of Cuba. Now that Cuba has allowed foreign cars back into the country, the newer vehicles are returning to the island for the few residents that can afford them. While the trade embargo still exists between Cuba and the US, it was recently announced that Cuba has just registered its first U.S.-spec car in 58 years. It is not a traditional American car brand, though, but a luxury Infiniti vehicle.

Infiniti’s executive design director, Alfonso Albaisa, might be based in Japan now, but he is a Cuban that was raised in Miami. To him, the easing travel restrictions between the US and Cuba for Cuban-Americans gave him the opportunity to return to his parents’ homeland and see his extended family. It’s only natural that he would want to bring one of his design pride and joys, the Infiniti Q60, along for the ride to make history. The trip was a joint effort between Infiniti and Fortune, which made a video and article series covering the adventures of the Infiniti Q60 in Cuba. According to Fortune, getting the car into the country and registered was a nightmare, which took a reported four months. As if the processing time wasn’t enough of a hassle, Infiniti had to promise that the car would only remain in Cuba for 30 days and then would return to the US, as the trade embargo is still in place.

Check out Albaisa’s trip to Cuba in the video below and learn how his Cuban heritage has influenced the design of the Infiniti Q60.

Albaisa acknowledges that this car may be historic for its registration, but it probably won’t be selling in Cuba anytime soon thanks to its high price. It’s still pretty cool to see such a modern luxury car cruising through the streets of Havana, where it almost looks like a time traveler’s prized ride among all the classic vehicles.

News Source: Fortune