Saturday, 23 March, 2019

Nissan will stop manufacturing Infiniti models at Sunderland

Nissan to end Sunderland production of luxury Infiniti brand Infiniti Leaving Western Europe In 2020, Ending Q30, QX30 UK Production This Summer
Lloyd Bates | 15 March, 2019, 04:13

Production of both models will cease by the middle of this year, and the news comes just weeks after Nissan announced it would no longer be building its next X-Trail model at Sunderland. Sunderland produced about 12,000 of the two diesel models past year, out of almost 450,000 cars.

Just 750 Infiniti cars were bought by Britons past year.

Sales of Infiniti cars in the United Kingdom have been poor since it launched in 2008, with just 16 vehicle registrations last month and a total of 750 in the whole of 2018, representing 0.03% of the market, according to figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders. The brand has just 60,000 customers in Europe, according to Autocar.

Infiniti announced on Tuesday that it is pulling out of the Western European market.

Infiniti Q30

The premium vehicle maker says it will withdraw in order to focus on its "growth markets", including 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 said.

In a statement, Infiniti said it plans to electrify its portfolio from 2021, discontinue the use of diesel engines and "focus its resources on its biggest opportunities". The brand will put more focus on SUV and crossover products, and will prioritise the markets of North America and China, where it will launch no less than five new models over the next five years. The Nissan-owned automaker said it's working to find other jobs for employees that might be affected, and once that's done, it'll focus on ending franchise agreements. It says its vision is "to become a top challenger brand in the premium segment". And while Infiniti plans to leave Western Europe, it will stay active in Eastern Europe, in addition to Asia and the Middle East.

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