Infiniti to end UK production ahead of Europe-wide pull-out in 2020
Nissan-owned carmaker to focus on electrifying its range for US and Chinese markets
Japanese carmaker Infiniti is ending production in the UK this summer and pulling out of all Western European markets early next year.
The company, owned by the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance, currently makes the Q30 hatchback and QX30 crossover at Nissan’s manufacturing plant in Sunderland.
But Infiniti today confirmed that under a global restructuring plan, production will cease in July, Auto Express reports. The firm said it would try to “find alternative” opportunities for its 300 staff in the Britain.
The production shutdown will be followed by the closure of its showroom network across Western Europe, as Infiniti instead focuses its efforts on the US and Chinese markets, where it plans to electrify its entire line-up.
Since launching in the UK in 2008, Infiniti has struggled to compete against rivals such as Lexus and BMW. The firm has around 60,000 customers across Europe, 10,000 of whom are located in the UK, notes Autocar.
The company claims the main reason for the pull-out is that it has “no sustainable way of investing in the kind of technology needed to reduce its fleet emissions” to meet the European Union’s strict targets, the magazine reports.
Infiniti will continue to sell new models in the UK “until a detailed plan is in place for aftersales support”, such as warranty repairs, servicing and maintenance, The Sunday Times reports.