It was rumored for quite a while but now it's official: Nissan will pull the Infiniti luxury brand from western Europe in early 2020. And while Infiniti plans to leave Western Europe, it will stay active in Eastern Europe, in addition to Asia and the Middle East.
Globally, Infiniti intends to improve the sales experience at its dealers and boost its vehicles' residual values, some of which will be done by future-proofing the brand's portfolio.
Nissan is ending Infiniti vehicle sales in the United Kingdom, as part of a restructuring plan that will refocus the premium brand on markets in North America and China.
"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", he added.
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In a statement, the company said it was "working to find alternative opportunities for any employees who would be affected, consulting with employee representatives where necessary and identifying opportunities for transition and training support where appropriate".
Nissan will stop production of Infiniti cars at its factory in Sunderland, northeast England, the Japanese carmaker said Tuesday, one month after cancelling the plant's plans for the X-Trail SUV. Infiniti wants to go fully electric by 2021, and thus won't sell any diesel-engined cars from that date.
"This is all part of Infiniti's vision to become a top challenger brand in the premium segment", it said.
The carmaker made a decision to shift production of its Q30 unit to Japan amid weak sales in western Europe, with work due to conclude in Sunderland "by mid-2019". There are 55 Infiniti retail stores in western Europe.