Infiniti to end United Kingdom production as it pulls out of Western Europe

Nissan to end Sunderland production of luxury Infiniti brand

Infiniti Leaving Western Europe In 2020, Ending Q30, QX30 UK Production This Summer

The company said that it will end the distribution of the Q30 and QX30 models and terminate their operations of its plant in Sunderland, England by the middle of 2019. Infiniti promises that five new models will launch in China over the next five years and it will capitalize on America's continuously growing demand for crossovers and SUVs.

Industry sources suggest that about 300 people are directly employed in building the two models at Sunderland, out of a total of about 7,000 employees at the factory. Just 170 of the pair were sold in Australia previous year, with the marque notching up just 649 sales in total. The company plans to divert its resources to much bigger markets with higher possibilities as they struggle to compete with European brands in the region.

By way of comparison, Lexus managed 47,170 sales across Europe in 2018, which trailed Alfa Romeo (83,438), Jaguar (84,311), Land Rover (150,283), and Volvo (319,048) by a significant margin.

Nissan to end Sunderland production of luxury Infiniti brand

With the vast R&D sums needed to invest in electrified technology, and a lack of buyers to help fund the development, the decision has been taken not to invest in the brand in Europe to meet the stricter European targets.

Infiniti has always been on the sidelines in Europe's competitive auto market, selling few vehicles.

Nissan Motor Co. said Tuesday it will withdraw its luxury Infiniti brand from markets in Western Europe in early 2020, while ceasing production of Infiniti models at its British plant amid fierce competition from German rivals.

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McLennan explained: 'The decision taken to withdraw Infiniti operations from Western Europe was extremely hard to take and only after careful consideration of all possible scenarios. According to him, the commercial reality for Infiniti in Western Europe is that there is simply no visibility of a viable and sustainable business, especially given the regulatory challenges.

Infiniti will also end sales of diesel vehicles and shift to hybrid and electric cars from 2021 onward.

The carmaker has made a decision to shift production of its Q30 model to Japan amid weak sales in western Europe.

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Infiniti's United Kingdom and European showrooms will remain in operation for the present, while the brand takes steps to put in place continuing aftersales services for current owners of its cars, including vehicle servicing, maintenance and warranty repairs.

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