Infiniti to leave western Europe, end QX30 and Q30 production

12 March, 2019, 22:54 | Author: Billie Castillo
  • 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.

Workers at Britain's biggest vehicle plant received more bad news today when Nissan's luxury Infiniti division announced that it will halt production in Sunderland within months. As a result the Q30 auto and QX30 sports-utility vehicle will no longer be made in the UK.

The move comes as Infiniti seeks to divert its resources to markets with bigger opportunities, such as China and the United States, from a region where non-European premium brands are struggling to compete against local players such as Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz.

It's part of the carmaker's restructuring plan, one which won't have any effect on its Eastern Europe, Middle East and Asian operations.

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.

Infiniti Q30
Infiniti pulled from Europe and production will end in the UK in July

As for its retailers, the company says it will conclude end of franchise agreements while providing the support and services necessary to ensure a smooth transition.

'Plant management will discuss any impact on the plant with employees and their representatives'.

The news puts 250 jobs at risk in Sunderland. The brand has said new vehicles introduced after 2021 will be electrified, meaning they will be offered as a hybrid or pure battery electric vehicle-that has not changed.

'We will also be seeking assurances on future employment levels and the production of other models at Sunderland'.

The restructuring plan "will focus the brand on its largest growth markets, specifically North America and China, while withdrawing from Western Europe", the statement said.

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