Infiniti to withdraw from UK market and stop Sunderland production
12 March 2019
Author: Sean Keywood
Infiniti is to leave the UK car market, having announced plans to withdraw from Western Europe.
The brand, the premium offshoot of Nissan, has struggled to compete with the likes of the big German premium brands, and sold only 750 cars in the UK last year, according to Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) figures.
As part of the plan, Infiniti has also announced that production of its Q30 and QX30 models at the Nissan factory in Sunderland will end by mid-2019.
It says management will discuss any impact on the plant with employees and their representatives.
Infiniti says a restructuring will allow it to focus its efforts on its largest growth markets, especially North America and China.
As part of this plan it says it will electrify its powertrains from 2021 onwards and discontinue diesels.
It says its retail operations here will remain open until a 'tailored transition plan' is put in place for continued aftersales services, including vehicle servicing, maintenance and warranty repairs.
Customers are advised to contact Infiniti for further information.
In a statement, Infiniti said: "In anticipation of its planned withdrawal from Western Europe in early 2020, the company 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.
"Once this is complete, Infiniti will work with its retailers to conclude end-of-franchise agreements, providing the support and services necessary to ensure a smooth transition.
"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."