Infiniti kicks Western Europe to the curb amid restructuring

Nissan to end Sunderland production of luxury Infiniti brand

Bosses said the decision was made after years of poor sales volumes since the brand was launched in 2008.

Infiniti will cease production at its Sunderland, UK plant - which builds the Q30 hatchback and QX30 crossover - by mid-2019.

It's part of a bigger plan that involves pulling the Infiniti brand out of Western Europe. Nissan's luxury brand will still have a presence in Eastern Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.

So far this year Infiniti's sales are down almost 11 percent to 20,909 units in the United States.

Of a total of 442,000 cars rolling off the production lines at Sunderland last year, just 12,400 were Infinitis, down from 27,000 the year before.

Nissan to end Sunderland production of luxury Infiniti brand

About 250 staff could be affected by the move and Nissan intends to discuss the impact with those employees.

Existing customers are being advised to head online and register details on the Infiniti website where they will be informed about the company's restructure and service and maintenance solutions going further.

The brand plans to focus more on its SUV lineup in North America, bring five new or significantly-redesigned vehicles to China over the next five years, improve quality of sales and residual value and realize more synergies with Nissan.

Infiniti said an exit from western Europe will allow it to focus on its initiative to "electrify" a good portion of its product portfolio from 2021 and discontinue diesel offerings.

Infiniti launched in Europe and the United Kingdom in 2008, but it has never taken off here. Infiniti also says it is 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".

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