Published: Fri, March 15, 2019
Money | By Arnold Ball

Nissan ends Infiniti auto sales in the UK

Nissan ends Infiniti auto sales in the UK

Nissan Motor Co's premium brand Infiniti said on Tuesday it will exit western Europe early next year, as it restructures its global operations and turns its attention to sales in the world's top two auto markets.

Infiniti has announced that it is pulling out of Western Europe in 2020, with Sunderland production of the Q30 and QX30 to cease by mid-2019.

Nissan also said recently it would not be building its X-Trail at Sunderland as initially planned, even after the government pledged over £61m in funds if it did.

INFINITI and Nissan Motor Corporation are confident in this restructuring plan for the long-term vision and success of the brand, for its employees, customers and shareholders.

According to the British media, Nissan's decision to halt Infiniti production at the Sunderland plant, with an output of 440,000 units in 2018, will put 250 jobs at risk. Infiniti's sales in western Europe nearly halved past year to 5,800 vehicles.

Workers at Britain's biggest vehicle plant received more bad news yesterday when Nissan's luxury Infiniti division said that it would halt production in Sunderland within months.

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"Western Europe remains the most challenging and competitive region for premium cars", Infiniti's chief spokesman, Trevor Hale, told Reuters.

Sunderland made about 12,000 Infinitis a year ago, a sliver of its more than 442,000 total units produced.

As part of the plan, Infiniti will electrify its product line-up from 2021 onward, discontinue diesel offerings, and focus its resources on its biggest opportunities.

Infiniti will continue selling cars in Russian Federation and eastern Europe, it said.

United Kingdom production of the Q30 at the Sunderland plant will end imminently.

In addition, the automaker promises, it will work to find alternative opportunities for any employees who would be affected by its withdrawal from Western Europe. They are consulting with the representatives of its employees to determine appropriate support as they opportunities for the transition.

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