Infiniti's killing off the QX30, and pulling out of Western Europe

Posted March 13, 2019

Nissan's premium brand suffered a 78.7% volume decline in 2018, from 3,515 to just 750 units, despite building its Q30 and QX30 models in Sunderland, and has just six United Kingdom dealerships, following the closure of the Glyn Hopkin-run site in St Albans.

Nissan will stop production of its upscale Infiniti models in the part of a plan to withdraw the brand from Western Europe to focus on North America and China.

Nissan to end Sunderland production of luxury Infiniti brand

According to Autocar, Infiniti accumulated approximately 60,000 customers in Europe since it entered the market in 2008. Sunderland produced about 12,000 of the two diesel models past year, out of almost 450,000 cars.

Infiniti promises that it will assist impacted workers in finding employment and negotiate end-of-franchise agreements with its retail outlets.

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

Unite has said there should be job redeployment when it ends the production of its Infiniti Q30 and says it would be working closely with the company to protect the jobs of workers affected by the carmaker's decision.

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"The commercial reality for Infiniti in western Europe is that there is simply no visibility of a viable and sustainable business, especially given the regulatory challenges", he said. Infiniti's best-ever year in Europe was in 2015 when it sold almost 14,000 vehicles. "This is all part of Infiniti's vision to become a top challenger in the premium segment", the company said. 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". The company will cease all European operations from early 2020.

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