Infiniti Exits Europe, Focus Is on North America and China

Infiniti Exits Europe, Focus Is on North America and China

Nissan will cease production of its luxury Infiniti brand at its Sunderland factory by the summer, potentially putting jobs at risk.

The move follow's Nissan's recent decision to build its new X-Trail model in Japan, instead of Sunderland.

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

Infiniti has always been on the sidelines in Europe's competitive auto market, selling few vehicles.

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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. Sunderland produced about 12,000 of the two diesel models a year ago, out of almost 450,000 cars.

"Within the Western European context of falling sales and the prospect of increasing investment costs towards future legislation and product complexity, there is no longer a sustainable and viable business case for this region", Infiniti said in a statement.

Infiniti Motor Co, the luxury division of Japanese automaker Nissan, says it's withdrawing from western Europe - offering another blow to carmakers in the United Kingdom bracing for Britain's departure from the European Union. Infiniti intends on electrifying its portfolio by 2021, which might not be fast enough for Europe's liking. There are 55 Infiniti retail stores in western Europe. "This is all part of Infiniti's vision to become a top challenger in the premium segment", the company said.

"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 said in a statement.

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