BEIJING, March 13, 2019 : Nissan Motor Company's premium brand Infiniti said on Friday it will exit western Europe by early 2020, as it restructures its global operations and turns its attention to sales in the world's top two auto markets.
Infiniti said it will discontinue the Q30 sedan and the QX30 sport-utility vehicle (SUV) and stop their production by the middle of 2019 at Nissan's manufacturing factory in Sunderland, northeast England. Both models are sold globally but produced only in Britain.
The move comes as Infiniti seeks to divert its resources to markets with bigger opportunities, such as United States and the China, from a region where non-European premium brands are struggling to compete against local players such as Audi , BMW and Mercedes-Benz. Nissan will continue to sell Infinitis in Eastern Europe, including Russia, however, as well as the Middle East.
Nissan also recently discard plans to build its new version of the X-Trail SUV in Britain amid the uncertainty surrounding Brexit, saying it had taken the decision to optimise its investments by building the next generation model in Japan.
In addition to the tough competition, the Japanese premium brand, headquartered in Hong Kong since 2012, has struggled to effectively meet emissions and other regulatory requirements in the region, Infiniti’s chief spokesman, Trevor Hale said, referring to stringent Euro 6 emissions requirements and other regulatory challenges.
As it prepares to move from Western Europe, Infiniti said it is working to find alternative opportunities for employees who would be affected, consulting with employee representatives where necessary and identifying opportunities for transition and training support where appropriate.