Nissan to end luxury Infiniti auto production in Sunderland

INFINITI Pulling out of Western Europe Starting this Year

INFINITI Pulling out of Western Europe Starting this Year

It means the Q30 and QX30 - now built in the United Kingdom at Nissan's Sunderland plant - will be discontinued later this year.

Infiniti will stop selling cars for Western Europe by 2020, and will focus instead on its customers in North America and China. Both models are sold globally but produced only in Britain.

Infiniti plans to divert its resources to markets with bigger opportunities from a region where non-European premium brands are struggling to compete against local players such as Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz.

However, the plan is the latest blow to the workers at the Sunderland plant, the UK's largest vehicle factory, after Nissan previously announced plans to build its new X-Trail in Japan.

The Infiniti brand has struggled to make a mark in Western Europe- previous year sales halved to 5,800. These markets continue to grow for Infiniti, according to the carmaker.

Nissan to end Sunderland production of luxury Infiniti brand

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

It is unknown if the report of reduced operating hours is linked to the Infiniti decision.

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. Like all other auto makers Infiniti will have to invest heavily in electrification in order to reduce its fleet emissions, which are mandated at an average of 95g/km of Carbon dioxide in Europe from next year.

It said Infiniti cars would be electrified from 2021, while high-polluting diesel-powered models will be discontinued in response to strong consumer and regulatory demand for cleaner transport.

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