Infiniti, Nissan’s luxury brand, has revealed a business restructuring plan that will affect European, North American and Chinese markets. The main sensation concerns Western Europe: Infiniti sales here will be discontinued from the beginning of 2020.
The Infiniti brand leaves the Western European market. This decision is conditioned by weak demand in the region, as well as by increasing requirements for engine toxicity levels.
Only 6,246 cars were sold there last year (a two-fold drop compared with 2017), giving way even to Maserati (8,008 sales). For comparison, in 2018 Lexus sold 46,000 vehicles to Europeans.
Infiniti bosses have been negotiating with partners and dealers about possible compensations. The brand’s service network in the region remains to maintain the cars already sold.
The exit from Western Europe implies the local production cessation. The plant in Sunderland (UK), the only site where they make five-door Infiniti Q30 and QX30, will stop producing them in mid-2019.
Both models globally failed. Just 3,000 Q30 hatchbacks and about 1,000 QX30 crossovers were bought by Europeans in 2018.
Only 8,101 QX30s were sold on the US car market (the Q30 model is not on sale there). Simultaneously with leaving Western Europe, Infiniti will give up on diesel engines.
Infiniti remains in Eastern Europe and the CIS countries. The company also intends to expand its SUV range in the U.S. Within the next five years, the brand will bring five new models to China. Moreover, Infiniti will electrify its vehicles from 2021.
Interestingly, Mercedes-Benz is no longer mentioned among the strategic partners of Infiniti, whose diesel motors the Japanese maker used for its cars.