Infiniti cars will no longer be sold in Western Europe from 2020 after Nissan bosses made a decision to pull the premium brand from the market. Both models are sold globally but produced only in Britain.
Britain's auto industry has been dealt a fresh blow with Nissan's premium marque Infiniti announcing it will stop building cars at the company's giant Sunderland plant. According to the plan, Infiniti will withdraw from western European markets in early 2020.
"Western Europe remains the most challenging and competitive region for premium cars", Infiniti's chief spokesman, Trevor Hale, told Reuters.
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 has traditionally struggled in the United Kingdom (and Western Europe as whole), selling considerably fewer models than its premium rivals sich as BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi.
It will shift its focus to North America and China, and continue its smaller operations in Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Asia.
Infiniti promises that it will assist impacted workers in finding employment and negotiate end-of-franchise agreements with its retail outlets.
The carmaker chose 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".
It said Infiniti cars would be electrified from 2021, while high-polluting diesel-powered models will be discontinued in response to strong consumer and regulatory demand for cleaner transport.
Infiniti launched in Europe in 2008 and has struggled to find a foothold ever since.