Nissan’s luxury brand Infiniti has thrown in the towel and will abandon western Europe to focus on markets in which it is more successful. This will include ceasing production of a model line here in the UK.
It has announced a restructuring plan “that will focus the brand on its largest growth markets, specifically North America and China, while withdrawing from western Europe”.
The restructuring would have no impact on ongoing operations in eastern Europe, the Middle East and, Asia, “which continue to grow”.
As part of the plan, Infiniti will electrify its range from 2021 onward, discontinue diesel models and “focus its resources on its biggest opportunities”.
The automaker will place more focus on its SUV lineup in North America, launch five new vehicles in China over the next five years, work to improve quality of sales and residual value, and realise more synergies with parent Nissan Motor.
“This is all part of Infiniti’s vision to become a top challenger brand in the premium segment,” it said in a statement.
Withdrawal from western Europe
According to the BBC, Infiniti brand sales in western Europe last year halved to 5,800.
Infiniti said it would exit the region early in 2020 and that 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.
Once this is complete, Infiniti will work with retailers to conclude end of franchise agreements, providing the support and services necessary to ensure a smooth transition.
Retail operations are to remain operational until a tailored transition plan is put in place for continued aftersales services, including vehicle servicing, maintenance and warranty repairs.
Production of the Q30 and QX30 is to cease by mid-2019 at Sunderland, UK.
“Plant management will discuss any impact on the plant with employees and their representatives,” Infiniti said.
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