Infiniti is exiting Western Europe so that the brand is able “to restructure operations to drive profitable growth in North America and China”. In other words, Nissan’s premium division hadn’t found enough customers in the most competitive markets in Europe to remain viable as a business.
As a result of the withdrawal, the slow-selling Q30 and QX30 models (image above), which are based on the Mercedes-Benz GLA, will cease production by mid-2019 at Nissan’s Sunderland plant in the UK, with operations (including dealerships) to close by early 2020. However, Infiniti pledges to continue supporting customers in after-sales, including maintenance and warranty claims beyond 2020.
Infiniti’s Europe withdrawal also means it will discontinue its diesel offerings and fully focus on electrifying the model range from 2021 onwards. Suffice to say, Infiniti’s eggs will also be firmly in the SUV basket for the North American market and electrified models which are specific to China. With UK soon to be out of the picture, the fate of future right-hand drive models hangs in the balance with only Japan, Australia and a handful of countries driving on the left side of the road.